ABU DHABI, 9th March, 2023 (WAM) — The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) in partnership with the Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing (EO AML/CTF) hosted a webinar on supervisory developments in the UAE.
A wide range of corporates, representing both Financial Institutions (FIs) and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs), joined the webinar to be briefed on national developments and to gain a better understanding of the role they should play in combatting financial crime.
Amira Ahmad of the CBUAE’s Financial Crime Supervision department and the Chair of the UAE’s Supervisory Authority Sub-Committee (SSC) presented on the national supervisory strategy and plans. The presentation outlined how the national strategy and plans have incorporated recommendations and guidance set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Ahmad added, “The UAE’s supervisory framework is derived from the National Risk Assessment. The SSC has created a comprehensive Risk Assessment Model that captures both quantitative and qualitative elements. This has led to supervisors agreeing on a system for uniform fine amounts and adopting a risk-based approach. The UAE supervisory authorities have increased efforts involving onsite reviews, enforcement actions, suspicious activity reporting, and targeted financial sanctions thematic reviews.”
She also mentioned the close cooperation between supervisory authorities in the UAE – including the CBUAE, Ministry of Economy, Securities and Commodities Authority, Ministry of Justice, Dubai Financial Services Authority, and Abu Dhabi Global Market to issue joint AML/CFT guidelines to FIs and DNFBPs. The SSC’s resourcing plan has delivered significant growth in staff numbers, with a combined head count of just under 500 set by the end of 2023.
Ismaeel Mohudin Mohammad, Legal Advisor at the EO AML/CTF and member of the UAE’s Public-Private Partnership Sub-Committee (PPPSC) secretariat, spoke about the PPPSC’s mission and role enhancing and facilitating the sharing of information. Through the PPPSC, the sharing of information happens in a secured environment, permitting further data mining, operational analysis and scanning by the private sector to fill potential intelligence gaps. The PPPSC also enables information sharing across supervisors, FIUs, law enforcement agencies, vetted participants from the private sector as well as international partners.
The PPPSC currently has 34 members from the public and private sector and in addition to enhancing the use of intelligence through developing a robust framework to share information and best practices, aims to issue typologies papers, and capacity-building programs, such as training, secondments and compliance certifications.
The webinar is the first in a series, and as a result of its success, will be followed in 2023 by further development updates and efforts of the UAE in combatting financial crime.