The Abu Dhabi Global Market's authority did not identify any instances of actual money laundering. Image Credit: ADGM

Abu Dhabi: Wise Nuqud Ltd, a licenced money service provider in the UAE, has been fined $360,000 (Dh1.32 million) for not following anti-money laundering norms.

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) found that Wise did not establish and maintain adequate anti-money laundering systems, such as verifying the source of funds or wealth for customers identified as high-risk before undertaking transactions on their behalf.

Instead, it carried out the checks only when the account met a specified payment threshold (and after it had already established a business relationship with those customers), ADGM said in a statement.

It also failed to properly obtain the approval of senior management to establish business relationships with a category of customers that it had identified as high risk, the regulator said.

The FSRA’s review did not identify any instances of actual money laundering resulting from Wise’s AML systems and control failures.

Also, Wise did not dispute the FSRA’s findings and agreed to settle at the earliest opportunity, which meant that it qualified for a discount of 20 per cent on the financial penalty. Otherwise, the FSRA would have imposed a financial penalty of $450,000.

Emmanuel Givanakis, CEO of the FSRA, said: “The FSRA actively supports the national AML/CFT agenda and maintains a robust and comprehensive supervisory framework and enforcement regime in the areas of AML/CFT in ADGM. The FSRA is committed to ensuring that all regulated entities maintain high standards to address money laundering risks and, where appropriate, the FSRA will take strong action to ensure firms comply fully with the anti-money laundering requirements in ADGM.”