UAE removed from money laundering grey list

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global watchdog for dirty money, has removed the UAE from its ‘grey list’ of countries deemed at risk of illicit money flows.

The move hands the UAE a significant boost in its bid to be the primary hub for asset management in the Mena region,

The FATF had placed the UAE under greater scrutiny in 2022 highlighting the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing in banking transactions as well as property and precious metal trading.

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UAE put on grey list by financial crime regulator

However, efforts led by the minister of foreign affairs, have led to the FATF removing the UAE from its watch list.

These efforts included an increase in the number of  financial investigations and prosecutions and an alignment of its regulations with international standards.

The news was welcomed by Moody’s Analytics as a reflection of the country’s commitment to fighting financial crime that could lead to smoother FX transactions, lower interbank fees and increased trade and investment.

However, there was also a note of caution from Moody’s, describing the impact of the announcement as a “gradual thawing rather than an instant spring”.

“Don’t expect the international compliance community to immediately change the way it interacts with the country,” said Mohamed Daoud, industry practice lead at Moody’s Analytics.

“It takes time for foreign institutions to update their AML and CTF measures, so the full benefits may lag behind the official announcement.”

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