190312 uae central bank
The UAE Central Bank imposed its sanction on the bank for not having the sufficient framework under AML rules. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: UAE’s Central Bank has imposed a Dh19.5 million sanction on a bank in the UAE under the country’s Anti Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Illegal Organisations law.

This relates to the bank’s failure to achieve “appropriate levels of compliance” in its AML and sanctions compliance frameworks for an extended period of time. All banks operating in the UAE are required to attain the appropriate levels of AML/CFT compliance standards, “having been allowed ample time by the CBUAE to remedy any shortcomings”.

The bank concerned has the right to appeal against the imposition of the sanction.

Ahead of the decision, the Central Bank took a two-step approach to the enforcement. On August 4, the regulator imposed monitoring on the bank to require the appointment of a consultant to take necessary urgent action to effect remediation of its AML and Sanctions Compliance Framework.

The monitoring is on-going, and the Central Bank will co-ordinate with the sanctioned bank to complete the remediation process. On November 4, the sanction of Dh19.5 million was imposed.

“Where those shortcomings remain, the CBUAE will impose financial sanctions,” the statement added. “The CBUAE will continue to work closely with all licensed financial institutions in the country to achieve and maintain high levels of AML/CFT compliance, and will continue to impose further administrative and/or financial sanctions, as per the law, in cases of non-compliance.”