FATF removes the UAE and Gibraltar from its watchlist

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), responsible for combatting money laundering and terrorism financing, has removed the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Gibraltar from its “grey list” after significant progress in reform efforts.

The decision signifies a triumph for both the UAE and Gibraltar, demonstrating their commitment to international standards in fighting financial crime. Previously, the UAE faced criticism for perceived weaknesses in scrutinizing money flows, but its removal from the grey list signifies a notable improvement in its ability to police illicit financial activities.

Joining the UAE and Gibraltar in exiting the grey list are Barbados and Uganda, while Kenya and Namibia have been newly placed on it.

According to FATF President Raja Kumar, countries removed from the grey list have shown substantial commitment and willingness to enhance their financial crime fighting systems, demonstrating political will to sustain these changes.

For the UAE, being on the grey list prompted significant reforms, including bolstering its Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terror Financing, enhancing legislation, and extraditing alleged financial criminals. The country’s Financial Intelligence Unit has reported a substantial increase in compliance activity, indicating strengthening systems.

Despite these advancements, concerns remain among anti-corruption campaigners, who argue that the international community should continue pressing for further reforms. Transparency International, in particular, points to allegations of wealthy individuals, including Russian politicians sanctioned by multiple countries, owning properties in Dubai, raising questions about the effectiveness of anti-money laundering efforts.

While the removal from the grey list is a positive step, experts caution that ongoing vigilance and continued efforts are necessary to address emerging risks and maintain the UAE’s position as a global economic center committed to combating financial crime.

In light of these developments, Eastern Region Group’s services in facilitating bank account opening and providing assistance in compliance issues related to bank maintenance become even more crucial. While opening an account is one aspect, ensuring its continued operation without closure due to compliance issues is equally significant.

With a renewed focus on international standards and financial crime prevention, businesses and individuals can rely on Eastern Region Group for expert guidance and support in navigating the complexities of banking regulations and maintaining compliance.

To learn more reach out to us at +971 569 01 55 07 or info@easternregiongroup.com.

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