The Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA) plans to introduce anti-money laundering (AML) regulations for the Kingdom's insurance firms and capital market players.
The agency is also upgrading AML regulations for the banking sector, to incorporate recent changes made to the 40 Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which sets international standards to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
“Money laundering is an ever-evolving threat … and the BMA has been active in addressing the issues of money laundering and terrorism financing,” said Executive Director, Banking Supervision, Dr Khalid Abdulla Ateeq in his keynote address to the First Annual Anti-Money laundering & Terrorist Financing Conference and Workshop.
“Throughout the development of Bahrain as a financial center, the Government and BMA have recognized that a sound regulatory framework and clean market have been essential components of its long-term success,” said Ateeq.
BMA began implementing Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, in line with standards set by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, in the 1980s, followed by a comprehensive AML Law from the start of 2001.
BMA is now in the process of updating the AML law, to reflect the recent changes made to FATF's 40 Recommendations, to ensure continued compliance with international best practice, asserted Ateeq.
“We will also be introducing proposals for similar AML requirements tailored for insurance businesses, as well as AML requirements for capital market players,” he said. “The intention with both these sectors is to apply the same basic requirements as is currently applied to banks, to ensure comparability of treatment whilst recognizing the specific differences that exist in these sectors.”
The BMA, the Kingdom's central bank and sole regulator for the financial system, currently regulates a total of 362 institutions, of which 186 are banks and banking-related institutions, 163 insurance and insurance-related firms and 13 capital market brokers. — (menareport.com)
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