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Coronavirus: UAE Central Bank publishes report on emerging financial sector risks

The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) has published the ‘Typologies in the Financial Sector’ report, produced by the Supervisory Authorities Sub-Committee, which is chaired by CBUAE.

The Supervisory Authorities Sub-Committee includes Abu Dhabi Global Market and Dubai Financial Services Authority, the Executive Office for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), and the UAE Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

The report aims to identify and raise awareness of the emerging risks in the financial sector and enable the concerned supervisory authorities and Financial Institutions (FIs) to remain vigilant and address these risks in a timely manner.

The typology report detects the most common risks among FIs and best practices to face them. A pilot group of FIs was selected to identify the unique risks prevalent in the sector and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The typologies identified in the report include the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing, fraud, bribery, corruption, charity and disaster fraud, cyber-attacks and external fraud caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report observed that the risks derived from the typologies identified are additional to the risks of crimes related to money laundering and terrorist financing which were outlined in the UAE’s National Risk Assessment and are likely to be prevalent across the wider financial sector. Amongst those risks are an increase in the use of unlicensed money service providers and a heightened risk of cyber-attacks.

The report reveals effective methods of mitigation, identification, and resolution implemented by FIs, apart from trend analyses of risks observed, according to WAM.

Commenting on the report, Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of CBUAE, said, "This report is part of our ongoing efforts to address money laundering and terrorist financing-specific trends and typologies emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic in the financial sector.

"Although these risks are still in the early stages of identification, CBUAE alongside the concerned supervisory authorities, have released this report as key reference on pandemic-related typologies and indicators to the financial institutions, so they remain abreast of and be able to mitigate these emerging risks, which ultimately contribute to safeguarding the integrity of the UAE financial system."