United Arab Emirates News

UAE Central Bank Issues Guidelines to Address Unlicensed Virtual Asset Service Providers

The Central Bank of the UAE’s anti-money laundering branch, in collaboration with various regulatory bodies, has released guidelines to tackle unlicensed virtual asset service providers (VASPs). These unlicensed entities operating in the UAE may face civil and criminal penalties, including fines for the entity, its owners, and senior managers. The move comes in response to the growing accessibility of virtual assets through digital channels and aims to safeguard the integrity of the UAE’s financial system. The guidelines will assist financial institutions and virtual asset service providers in enhancing their governance and operational processes while also helping them manage risks associated with money laundering, terrorism financing, and proliferation financing effectively. They also emphasize the importance of due diligence in identifying instances of forged documents and sanctions evasion in line with FATF regulations. Reporting suspicious transactions and activities to the UAE Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is also encouraged.

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