Local Business

Over 300K people, 10K SMEs benefit from UAE central bank stimulus

Issac John /Dubai
issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com Filed on September 27, 2020

Alahmadi urged UAE banks to put more efforts towards combatting money laundering.

More than 300,000 individuals in the UAE have benefited from the central bank's Dh256 billion capital and liquidity buffers to help the economy to cope with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the regulator said.

The Central Bank of the UAE's Targeted Economic Support Scheme's (Tess) zero-cost liquidity facility - first rolled out in March with a Dh100 billion stimulus package and later increased to Dh256 billion - also helped close to 10,000 SMEs and over 1,500 private corporates to navigate the financial turmoil caused by the pandemic.

Central bank governor Abdulhamid M. Saeed Alahmadi recently conducted the quarterly meeting with CEOs of the largest banks operating in the UAE to discuss the continued preparedness of the banking sector to cope with the pandemic impact.

Alahmadi urged UAE banks to put more efforts towards combatting money laundering and financing of terrorism in order to mitigate the risk of financial crimes and safeguard the UAE's financial system and its stability.

The meeting also touched upon the systemic stability of banks and the importance of having robust controls to mitigate the risks of money laundering and financing of terrorism in the UAE.

It also reviewed the macro-economic situation in the country, with a particular focus on the UAE banking sector, the central bank said in a statement.

The meeting shed light on the implementation of Tess, and discussed the functioning of the relief measures and the importance of implementing policies and effective measures towards loan restructuring.  

At the meeting, the apex bank updated bank CEOs on the results of the sanctions screening testing where the central bank has analysed and stress tested sanctions screening systems of licensed financial institutions by the newly created Anti Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism unit at the central bank.

 "The Central Bank of UAE reaffirms its commitment towards enhancing monetary and financial stability in the country through effective supervision, partnership with financial institutions and a sustained and robust financial infrastructure. The continuous focus of banks on key financial ratios coupled with the need to provide assistance to impacted customers was required to ensure systemic financial stability in the country," said the governor.

"CBUAE's supervisory and regulatory initiatives are also focused on verifying UAE banks comply with their legal obligations under the UAE anti money laundering legislation to ensure the country's commitment to applying the Financial Action Task Force standards and its standing as a financial center of repute," said Alahmadi said,

On September 1, the UAE has made it mandatory for Hawala service providers, or informal money transfer service providers that operate in the country to register, in a move at strengthening its AML/CFT  framework.

As per this move, all activities of the hawaladars will be subject to registration, monitoring and scrutiny in accordance with the law and the AML/CFT regulations in the country.  

CBUAE warned that legal action would be taken against Hawala providers should they fail to register their applications within 90 days starting on September 1.

Early this month, the National Committee for Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Illegal Organisations has announced the launch of 'Fawri Tick', a   a unified system that integrates and aggregates various AML/CFT smart system.
- issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com


Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.

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