Sunday, 29 July 2012

UAE Banking System

The UAE has a central bank that oversees and regulates all financial institutions carrying on business in the Emirates. There are a wide variety of banks and financial institutions in the UAE offering a broad range of financial services. One of the most recent business initiatives of Dubai has been the establishment of the Dubai International Financial Centre whose primary goal is to fill the large gap that exists between the large European financial centres and those in the Far East and in addition to the normal broad range of financial services offered, the DIFC will include a regional financial exchange and a base for reinsurance operations. Virtually all of the financial institutions carrying on business in the UAE have an established global network and most of the local and foreign banks offer all banking services expected by the international business community and accounts for both companies and individuals can be maintained in most foreign currencies. Although the currency used in the UAE is the AED, international companies are free to conduct their business dealings in any currency and many of the international banks with branch operations in the UAE are in a position to offer foreign currency accounts.

In addition to the regulation of the UAE banks and banking system by the UAE Central Bank, there is a strict rule of confidentiality that prevails within the UAE banking system subject to the UAE recently enacted Federal Law No. (4) in 2002 in relation to the incrimination of money laundering. Under this law all money derived from drugs, piracy, terrorism, illegal arms trade, theft, fraud, embezzlement and even violations of environmental laws will be considered proceeds derived from money laundering activities. As a result of this recent enactment there is a certain degree of transparency in the UAE banking system similar to other sophisticated and well developed banking systems around the world including the automatic reporting to the Central Bank authorities by financial institutions of every financial transaction in excess of Dhs 40,000 (approximately $10, 900 U.S.).

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