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All financial institutions will have to comply with the 30-day deadline on transactions monitoring and sanctions screening, which went into effect today (September 13). Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Dubai: The UAE Central Bank has issued new guidance on transaction monitoring and sanctions screening for licensed financial institutions (LFIs). This is to promote effective implementation of statutory anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) obligations.

The guidance came into effect today (September 13) and requires financial institutions to "demonstrate compliance with CBUAE’s requirements within one month". They must develop internal policies, controls and procedures that are "commensurate with the nature and size of their business that are approved by their senior management, to enable them manage their identified money laundering and financing of terrorism risks".

They must also put in place indicators to identify suspicious transactions and activities to file suspicious transaction and activity reports or other report types to the UAE’s Financial Intelligence Unit. In addition, LFIs must  screen their databases and transactions against names on lists issued by the UN Security Council and its relevant Committees (UN Consolidated List) or by the UAE Cabinet (UAE Local Terrorist List) before conducting any transaction or entering into a business relationship with any client, whether it is individual or corporate.

Effective transaction monitoring and sanction screening programmes must be maintained at all times. simultaneous with the training and awareness of employees and active oversight by their board. 

As we continue to enhance the effectiveness of AML/CFT measures to safeguard the UAE financial system, we expect licensed financial institutions to fulfil their duties as well.

- Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of the CBUAE