Central Bank of UAE fines an exchange house for compliance failure

The regulator imposes a penalty of $137,329 on a UAE-based exchange house

The banking regulator has strict laws in place to fight money laundering. Ryan Carter / The National
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The Central Bank of the UAE fined an exchange house operating in the country for failing to achieve appropriate levels of compliance to anti-money laundering regulations.

The regulator imposed a penalty of Dh504,000 ($137,329) in accordance with Article 14 of the Federal Decree Law No 20 of 2018 on anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism and financing of illegal organisations.

“As the supervisory authority of exchange houses operating in the UAE, the CBUAE is committed to ensuring all exchange houses abide by UAE laws and the regulations and standards issued by the CBUAE, in an effort to safeguard the transparency and integrity of the transactions of exchange houses,” the bank said in a statement on Wednesday.

The UAE, which has strict laws to deal with money laundering and the financing of terrorism, has issued various regulations and adopted numerous measures to fight financial crimes.

In November, the UAE's Ministry of Economy set up a new anti-money laundering department to ensure all non-financial businesses and professionals comply with local laws.

The Central Bank of the UAE also instructed all hawala providers – informal funds transfer service providers for individuals utilising non-bank methods – to register with the central bank to "enhance transparency in financial transactions" and strengthen the oversight of money transfers.

It also imposed administrative sanctions on two exchange houses operating in the country and fined them Dh1.45 million for not complying with the country's anti-money laundering rules in October.

Last month, the CBUAE also fined 11 banks for failing to adhere to anti-money laundering standards.