The UAE Central Bank has imposed financial sanctions of over Dh 45.75 million on 11 banks for violating anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. The economic sanctions were imposed on January 24, 2021, under Article 14 of the Federal Decree-Law No. (20) of 2018 on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Financing of Illegal Organisations (AML/CFT Law). According to the Central Bank, the financial sanctions consider the banks’ failures to achieve appropriate levels of compliance regarding their AML and Sanctions compliance frameworks as at the end of 2019.
While it did not disclose the names of the 11 banks, the UAE Central Bank reiterated its commitment to maintaining a zero tolerance to AML/CFT violations and warned that it would continue to impose further administrative and financial sanctions, as per the law, in cases of non-compliance. It also noted that all banks operating in the country have been given ample time to remedy any shortcomings and were instructed in the middle of 2019 to ensure compliance by the end of that year. It had warned banks then that other flaws concerning AML would result in penalties.
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