The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has asked banks and financial institutions to strengthen their KYC (know-your-customer) norms as part of due diligence to combat all kinds of financial crimes, including money laundering and terror financing.
Cautioning that financial crimes are developing rapidly with the progress of technology to impact the economy and financial stability; QCB deputy governor and chairman of the National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Committee Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani emphasised the need for uniting efforts in the face of these crimes.
Addressing the Compliance Challenges and Combating Financial Crime Conference, organised by the Union of Arab Banks (UAB) and the World Union Of Arab Bankers; he asked the financial sector to understand the risks of all kinds of financial crimes, and "called for due diligence at combating it according to the best practices, as well as adopting financial technology innovations and enhance financial inclusion."
Qatar has made necessary amendments to a number of laws related to combating money laundering and terrorist financing which contribute to setting the best legislative practices for an integrated system, he said, affirming Doha’s commitment to international standards issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
In this regard, Sheikh Mohamed Jarrah al-Sabah, chairman of UAB, heaped praise on the success of Qatar in the field of combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and called for the region to benefit from the country's experience.
Highlighting that Qatar has enough policies and systems in places, enabling the country to face challenges in combating financial crimes; he appreciated the establishment of the National Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Committee and the role it played in developing a comprehensive framework to fight financial crimes and protect the Qatari financial system.
Quoting an HSBC study, he said the global economy lost $2.1tn to financial crimes in 2018, while the estimate of the World Economic Forum was slightly higher at $2.4tn. Moreover, a survey from Thompson Reuters showed that Arab companies spend 3.8% of its returns on fighting financial crime, which is the highest rate among all other regions.