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UAE Central Bank Issues AML Guidance for Crypto Businesses

The UAE central bank has announced new anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) guidance for crypto financial institutions Source: Reuters

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) central bank has announced new anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) guidance for financial institutions that deal with virtual assets (VAs), such as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The new guidance, which takes effect on June 30, 2023, applies to all financial institutions in the UAE, including banks, finance companies, exchange houses, payment service providers, licensed hawala providers, and insurance agencies and brokers.

The guidance addresses the risks associated with VAs, such as their use for money laundering and terrorist financing, and sets out requirements for financial institutions to mitigate these risks. These requirements include:

  • Conducting due diligence on VA customers and counterparties, including verifying their identity and source of funds.
  • Monitoring VA transactions for suspicious activity.
  • Reporting suspicious activity to the UAE’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

The UAE central bank said that the new guidance is in line with international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The FATF is an intergovernmental body that sets standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

The UAE was placed on the FATF’s “grey list” in March 2022, which means that it is subject to increased monitoring by the FATF. The UAE government has said that it is committed to taking steps to address the FATF’s concerns and to remove the country from the grey list.

The issuance of the new AML guidance is a positive step by the UAE government to strengthen its AML and CTF regime. The guidance will help to ensure that financial institutions in the UAE are taking the necessary steps to mitigate the risks associated with VAs.


Emma Davis is a highly skilled and experienced crypto writer with a passion for all things blockchain and cryptocurrency. With years of experience writing about the latest trends, news, and innovations in the crypto world, Emma has established herself as one of the best crypto journalists.