Central Bank of Kuwait Directs Banks to Strengthen Anti-Money Laundering Programs

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The Central Bank of Kuwait is taking proactive measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing operations. In line with international standards and recommendations, the bank has directed banks and other supervised entities, including exchange companies, to develop advanced technical programs and systems. These programs will automatically issue alerts regarding operations and transactions executed on customer accounts, ensuring their consistency with available client information.

To further strengthen its efforts, the Central Bank emphasizes the need for banks to promptly notify the Kuwaiti Financial Investigation Unit of any suspicious transactions or attempts as soon as sufficient evidence is available. This proactive approach helps in the early detection and prevention of illicit financial activities.

The Central Bank’s instructions also highlight the importance of regularly updating procedures and systems to align with the latest international requirements. By doing so, banks can stay ahead of evolving money laundering and terrorist financing techniques.

To ensure compliance, the Central Bank conducts field inspection missions to verify banks’ adherence to the provisions of the law, executive regulations, and related decisions. These inspections also assess the extent to which banks’ procedures and systems align with the instructions issued by the Central Bank.

In cases of violations, the Central Bank does not hesitate to impose strict financial penalties, with a maximum penalty of 500 thousand dinars. Additionally, administrative penalties stipulated in the law may also be applied. The penalties imposed on violating banks are presented during the general assembly meetings, emphasizing the seriousness of non-compliance.

The Central Bank remains fully committed to its role in combating money laundering and terrorist financing operations. It continues to closely monitor the entities under its supervision, ensuring their full compliance with all the legal requirements, instructions, and decisions. This commitment is reinforced by the Central Bank’s dedication to enhancing the strength and integrity of the banking and financial sector.

The Central Bank’s approach is characterized by permanent and full cooperation with all concerned parties and institutions, including the Investigation Unit and judicial authorities. By working together, these entities can effectively combat illicit financial activities and maintain the integrity of Kuwait’s financial system.

Regarding the role of the banking and financial sector in reporting suspicious operations, the law requires all financial institutions, including banks, to notify the Investigation Unit rather than the Central Bank. This requirement ensures that any transactions or attempts involving funds derived from a crime or linked to money laundering or terrorist financing are promptly reported.

The entities subject to the Central Bank’s supervision are diligently fulfilling their duties as outlined in the law and the decisions issued by the sanctions committees of the Security Council. These actions are based on Chapter Seven of the United Nations Charter and the relevant decisions of the Security Council Resolutions Implementation Committee formed within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In summary, Kuwait’s Central Bank is taking significant steps to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. By implementing advanced technical programs and systems, regularly updating procedures, and conducting thorough inspections, the bank is actively ensuring compliance with international standards. The Central Bank’s commitment to cooperation and its role in maintaining the integrity of the financial sector further reinforce its efforts in combating illicit financial activities.

Source: TimesKuwait

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