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International understanding of UAE financial sector increases: Al Suwaidi

posted on 25/09/2003: 1957 views

The IMF/World Bank annual meeting in Dubai has given visiting international bankers, politicians, regulators and journalists a unique opportunity to appreciate the quality of the UAE financial sector, Sultan bin Nasser Al-Suwaidi, the UAE's Central Bank Governor said today. "Having seen this country at first hand and having met the senior officials of our financial institutions, they will now know that that the UAE has a professionally administered banking system.

The senior executives of both the local and international banks run their institutions to the highest standards," said Al-Suwaidi. He said that visitors would now also understand that the UAE Central Bank had created a regulatory environment which balances the need for tough controls with the desire to allow banks as much operational flexibility as possible. During the IMF/World Bank meeting, Al-Suwaidi has explained to visiting bankers and political leaders that the UAE has not only introduced extremely robust controls on money laundering but also implemented them extremely vigorously.

He pointed out that the UAE's money anti-laundering and anti- terrorism finance legislation has been praised by the Financial Action Task Force and provided details of the action taken by the UAE authorities. Moreover, nine cases have been fully prosecuted for money laundering and seizure of assets and are in the process of judgment, some 12 cases are being prosecuted and in 25 more cases freezing orders have been issued and reports made to the public prosecutor for legal action.

The Governor briefed a dinner of the G8 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers about the measures taken to licence Hawaladars. Applications for licences have been received from 79 Hawala dealers of whom 56 have so far been approved. The Governor explained that this was the most effective way of maintaining control over this informal system of money transfers.

The Governor also spoke at a seminar on the UAE economy at which he spelt out the laws and Central Bank regulations governing the UAE financial system. He pointed that the capital requirement were stricter than those demanded by the Basle Committee. The UAE Central Bank and the banks in the UAE have played an active role in supporting the events that have taken place during the IMF/World Bank meeting. They sponsored and hosted a seminar, which concentrated on the UAE's efforts to counter money laundering and terrorism finance. They also supported a number of social and cultural events, including a gala reception for the delegates attending the event, an exhibition of regional Arab art and three concerts, consisting of groups of songs, melodies and music from around the Arab world. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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