AML CFT Supervision by the CBUAE2 min read

The CBUAE established a dedicated department in August 2020 to handle all Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism matters (AML/CFT), which the Banking Supervision Department handled previously. 

The Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism Supervision Department (AMLD) serves three key objectives: 

  • examining Licensed Financial Institutions (LFIs); 
  • ensuring adherence to the UAE’s AML/CFT legal and regulatory framework, and 
  • identifying threats, vulnerabilities and emerging risks to the UAE’s financial sector. 

Through AMLD, the CBUAE coordinates closely with the UAE’s National AML/CFT Committee to implement the National Action Plan effectively.

AMLD comprises three teams with distinct mandates: 

  • Compliance and Examination:
    • devises the annual AML/CFT risk-based supervisory plan;
    • conducts supervisory examinations and issues corrective actions to LFIs; and 
    • It also recommends sanctions and disciplinary measures in cases of LFI non-adherence. 
  • Policy and Co-operation:
    • prepares policies and guidance for supervised LFIs; 
    • handle information requests from local and international regulators; 
    • manages coordination with national committees and other authorities; 
    • liaises with domestic and international stakeholders; and
    • performs outreach activities; 
  • Research and Risk Analysis:
    • It collects AML/CFT-related data from LFIs and other stakeholders; 
    • performs institutional and sectoral risk assessments; and
    • creates risk analysis dashboards to identify LFI vulnerabilities, for consideration in the CBUAE’s compliance and examination plans.

Within the CBUAE, AMLD coordinates with the Examination Division of the Banking Supervision Department to exchange AML/CFT information on LFIs. AMLD also works closely with the Enforcement Division to impose penalties set by the CBUAE’s legal, regulatory and enforcement framework. 

Externally, AMLD acts as the interface between the CBUAE and domestic stakeholders. Its role in facilitating cooperation to enhance LFI compliance with AML/CFT requirements often incorporates other UAE’s supervisory, regulatory and law enforcement authorities, such as the UAE’s independent Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). AMLD also works with international stakeholders to exchange information on AML/CFT best practices, and with foreign supervisors to handle AML/CFT information requests or to perform joint AML/CFT investigations.