The Central Bank of the UAE has recently issued new guidance aimed at strengthening anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) measures for crypto businesses. This move, which aligns with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), will take effect in one month.
Licensed Financial Institutions in the United Arab Emirates, such as banks, finance companies, exchange houses, payment service providers, registered hawala providers, insurance companies, agents, and brokers, will be directly impacted by these new rules.
In a written statement, His Excellency Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of the CBUAE, emphasized that the newly issued guidance pertaining to the virtual assets sector is designed to enhance the Central Bank’s supervisory and regulatory frameworks. Its primary objective is to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The Governor further highlighted that continuous efforts are being made to raise awareness among licensed financial institutions to prevent various financial crimes. This proactive approach seeks to mitigate potential risks, safeguard the financial and monetary system, and ensure its integrity and stability in accordance with the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force.
This guidance comes as part of the UAE’s efforts to attract crypto businesses to the region, with a focus on creating a welcoming regulatory environment. In March, Dubai introduced a new agency dedicated to the regulation of virtual assets. Regulators in the region have been praised by major crypto firms, including Coinbase, for their approach in this regard.