H.E. AbdulAziz Al-Ghurair receives U.S. Treasury’s Under Secretary, Sigal Mandelker, for a dinner meeting in Dubai.
H.E. AbdulAziz Al-Ghurair, Chairman of UAE Banks Federation, together with CEOs of leading UAE banks, received the Under Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, Sigal Mandelker, and the recently-appointed U.S. Treasury Attaché to the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman, Paul Khuri, along with other high-level delegates from the U.S. Treasury.
Combating money laundering and illicit finance was top on the agenda, in addition to increasing consultations, data sharing, and coordination between the UAE and the United States on banking and financial service matters.
H.E. AbdulAziz Al-Ghurair said: “It gives us great pleasure to welcome the U.S Treasury Under Secretary on her visit to the UAE, which underpins our joint commitment to strengthen ties between the United States and the UAE in banking and financial service matters. As friends with numerous shared interests and common values, we are continuously addressing key challenges across the banking sector, with the aim of creating further economic prosperity and promoting security. In particular, addressing money laundering and illicit finance is a core area of common focus, and we are working closely together to explore how we can best combat these global issues.”
UBF plays a significant role in ensuring that UAE banks comply with US and international anti-money laundering (AML) best practices. One of UBF’s key initiatives, in collaboration with the Central Bank of the UAE, was the development of industry guidelines for an effective “AML & Compliance Framework” for all UAE banks.
“Over recent years, UAE banks have increased their efforts to detect and deter all forms of financial crimes. Several of the UAE’s leading banks, for instance, are members of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Crime Compliance Group (MENA-FCCG), working together with other banks in the region to create more comprehensive and efficient counter-terrorism financing and anti-money laundering systems. Given its position at the forefront of tackling these issues worldwide, the United States is an invaluable partner for us, and we look forward to more fruitful collaboration with the USA in the future,” H.E. added.
H.E. concluded: "The UAE continues to lead as a regional financial hub, which make UAE banks more committed to further enhance the AML program in the country, all with the aim of demonstrating both willingness and capability to take action against illicit financial actors who present a risk to the UAE’s financial system."
The UAE is a member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF). It is also a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and its banks have done a lot to combat money laundering and terrorism finance. However, there is still more required from UAE banks so that we can ensure full adherence to FATF recommendations on combating money laundering and financing terrorism.
The delegation of Sigal P. Mandelker, U.S. Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism & Financial Intelligence, included Paul Khuri, the U.S. Treasury Attaché to the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman.
Representatives from UBF member banks were: Shayne Nelson, Group CEO of Emirates-NBD; Bernd Van Linder, CEO of Commercial Bank of Dubai; Peter England, CEO of RAKBANK, and Varouj Nerguizian, CEO of Bank of Sharjah. Also present was Jamal Saleh, Director General of UBF.