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UAE: Non-compliance with AML and CFT Regulations led to AED 113 million in Fines6 min read

Author: Omar Sami
Managing Partner Attorney at German Law Legal- & Tax Consultant

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) increased its financial sector oversight in 2023 by conducting 181 licensed financial institutions field examinations. This move aims to ensure compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) regulations. The regulatory efforts resulted in fines of AED 113.675 million on banks, exchange houses, and insurance companies for not complying with these regulations. 

Besides the penalties, the CBUAE has conducted 40 awareness sessions for the private sector to mitigate financial risks. More than 35,000 participants attended these sessions, which fostered an exchange of information and strategies. These collaborative endeavors underscore the UAE’s commitment to upholding global financial standards.

The UAE has successfully emerged from the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) due to the proactive stance of the CBUAE. The impact of these concerted efforts was evident, and they hold tangible benefits for the UAE’s financial ecosystem. Increased trust in the UAE’s financial system would facilitate smoother foreign currency transactions, reduce inter-bank fees, and stimulate trade and investment.

The CBUAE’s mission is to ensure the integrity and safety of the UAE’s financial system, with broader implications for global financial stability. The Financial Intelligence Unit, a vital component of these efforts, processed over 8,300 requests from law enforcement authorities and public prosecution through the Integrated Enquiry Management System during 2022-2023. Additionally, it submitted 710 technical reports to the public prosecution, supporting investigations into money laundering and related crimes.

Furthermore, the UAE’s commitment to international cooperation is evident in the 68 memoranda of understanding and agreements signed between the Financial Intelligence Unit and counterpart global units. These agreements facilitate the exchange of crucial information, improving the effectiveness of efforts to combat financial crimes worldwide.

How TME Services Can Support Your Business

The proactive measures undertaken by the CBUAE and its partners safeguard the UAE’s financial integrity and contribute to broader efforts to combat illicit economic activities worldwide. Our compliance team can support you and update you with the latest laws and updates in compliance matters in the UAE.

With over 18 years of experience in the UAE and the Middle East, we specialize in legal, tax, accounting, and compliance matters. Visit our services page to learn more about everything we do.


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