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Anti Money Laundering (AML) in Switzerland



Anti Money Laundering (AML) By Country: Switzerland

Anti Money Laundering (AML) in Switzerland

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Money laundering in Switzerland is a growing problem, despite the strength of the Swiss economy. Reporting indicates that criminals attempt to launder proceeds in Switzerland from a wide range of illegal activities conducted worldwide, particularly financial crimes, narcotics trafficking, arms trafficking, organized crime, and corruption. Although both Swiss and foreign entities conduct money laundering activities in Switzerland, narcotics-related money laundering operations are largely controlled by foreign narcotics trafficking organizations, often from the Balkans or Eastern Europe. Some of the money generated by Albanian narcotics trafficking rings in Switzerland has been funneled to armed Albanian extremists in the Balkans.

Switzerland has significant AML legislation in place, making banks and other financial intermediaries subject to strict Know Your Customer (KYC) reporting requirements. Switzerland has also implemented legislation for identifying, tracing, freezing, seizing, and forfeiting narcotics-related assets. Legislation that aligns the Swiss supervisory arrangements with the Basel Committee’s Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision is contained in the Swiss Money Laundering Act.

Swiss money laundering laws and regulations apply to both banks and Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs). The Federal Banking Commission, the Federal Office of Private Insurance, and the Swiss Federal Gaming Board serve as primary oversight authorities for a number of financial intermediaries, including banks, securities dealers, insurance institutions, and casinos. Other financial intermediaries are required to either come under the direct supervision of the Money Laundering Control Authority (MLCA) of the Federal Finance Department or join an accredited Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO). The SROs are non-governmental, self-regulating organizations authorized by the Swiss government to oversee the implementation of AML measures by their members. SROs must be independent of the management of the intermediaries they supervise and must enforce compliance with due diligence obligations. Noncompliance can result in a fine or a revoked license.

The Economy of Switzerland

Switzerland is a peaceful, prosperous, and stable modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force, and a per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) larger than that of the big Western European economies. In recent years, the Swiss have brought their economic practices largely into conformity with the EU's to enhance their international competitiveness. Switzerland remains a safe-haven for investors, because it has maintained a degree of bank secrecy and has kept up the Franc's long-term external value.

Banking in Switzerland

The Swiss National Bank conducts the country’s monetary policy as an independent central bank. It is required by the Swiss Constitution to act in the best interests of the country as a whole. Its primary goal is to ensure price stability, while taking due account of economic developments. In so doing, it creates an appropriate environment for economic growth.

The Federal Banking Commission, the Federal Office of Private Insurance and the Swiss Federal Gaming Board serve as primary oversight authorities for a number of financial intermediaries, including: banks, securities dealers, insurance institutions and casinos.

Currency of Switzerland

The Franc is the official currency of Switzerland. The Swiss Franc is one of the world’s most stable currencies to date. Franc banknotes are available in 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 1000 denominations. Coins are available in 5, 10, and 20 centime denominations, as well as 1/2, 1, 2 and 5 Franc coins.

Other Key Statistics of Switzerland

Time Zone: CET (UTC+1).

Location: Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy.

Population: 8,211,700 (2014 estimate.)

Capital: None. Bern is the de facto capital.

Languages Spoken: German, French, Italian, and Romansh.


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Anti Money Laundering (AML) in United States of America

United States


Anti Money Laundering (AML) By Country: United States of America

Anti Money Laundering (AML) in United States of America

United States of America
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Money laundering in the United States of America (USA) is a serious problem. The primary source of laundered funds comes from the accessibility of the financial system. Trade-based money laundering is another method by which criminals have laundered funds in the USA.

Each year, between $500 billion and a trillion dollars of laundered money is generated through international banks and financial institutions. It is estimated that half of this laundered money is conducted through banks in the USA. In response to the September 11, 2001 attacks, the USA has taken advanced measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 amends the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) by requiring all financial institutions to establish Anti-Money Laundering (AML) programs. The Act is intended to strengthen the USA’s measures to prevent, detect, and prosecute money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The USA requires Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) to be filed any time there is a large or suspicious transaction to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). FinCEN serves as the USA’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). The USA’s financial institutions are also required to follow strict customer identification programs in order to verify the true identity of each customer and deter money laundering.

The Economy of the United States

Recently, the USA’s economy has been suffering, causing Congress to issue an economic stimulus plan to prevent the country from falling into a recession. Despite all of this, the USA still has the world’s largest and most technologically dominant economy.

In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoy greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, lay off surplus workers, and develop new products.

Imported oil accounts for about two-thirds of US consumption. Long-term economic issues include inadequate investment in the economic infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of the aging population, sizable trade and budget deficits, and stagnation of family income in the lower economic groups.

Banking in the United States

The Federal Reserve is the Central Bank of the USA, created in 1913. The main responsibilities of the Federal Reserve are maintaining monetary policy; ensuring the safety and soundness of the nation’s banking and financial system; maintaining the stability of the financial system and containing systemic risk that may arise in financial markets; and providing certain financial services to the US government, to the public, to financial institutions, and to foreign official institutions, including playing a major role in operating the nation's payments systems.

The Federal Reserve is a federal system, composed of a central, governmental agency, known as the Board of Governors, located in Washington, D.C., and twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks, located in major cities throughout the nation. As the nation's Central Bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the US Congress. It is considered an independent central bank since its decisions do not have to be ratified by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branch of government.

The United States' Currency

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) issues the USA’s banknotes and also produces several other security documents such as portions of passports, materials for Homeland Security, military identification cards, and Immigration and Naturalization Certificates. The United States Mint issues all of the nation’s coinage and is in charge of distributing coins to the Federal Reserve banks and branches. The United States Department of Treasury is in charge of overseeing the production of both departments.

The United States Dollar (USD) is the currency in the USA and it is issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollar bills. US coins are commonly issued in a one-cent piece (penny), five-cent piece (nickel), ten-cent piece (dime) and twenty-five cent piece (quarter). There are also fifty-cent pieces and one dollar pieces, but it is rare to see either.

Other Key Statistics of the United States

Time Zone: The US uses nine standard time zones. From east to west they are Atlantic Standard Time (AST), Eastern Standard Time (EST), Central Standard Time (CST), Mountain Standard Time (MST), Pacific Standard Time (PST), Alaskan Standard Time (AKST), Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HST), Samoa standard time (UTC-11) and Chamorro Standard Time (UTC+10).

Location: North America, bordering both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico.

Population: 320,206,000 (2015 estimate).

Capital: Washington, DC.

Languages Spoken: English is the official language and there is a large Spanish speaking population.


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Anti Money Laundering (AML) in United Kingdom

United Kingdom


Anti Money Laundering (AML) By Country: United Kingdom

Anti Money Laundering (AML) in United Kingdom

United Kingdom
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Money laundering in the United Kingdom (UK) is an ongoing problem. Because the UK is such a large international financial center, it is vulnerable to money laundering through its relationships with other countries.

The UK has always put forth a strong effort to maintain its comprehensive Anti-Money Laundering (AML) system. For example, the UK has implemented many of the provisions of the European Union’s two Directives on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering, and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Forty Plus Nine Recommendations. In addition, banks and non-bank financial institutions in the UK must report suspicious transactions.

In November 2001, money laundering regulations were extended to money service bureaus (e.g., bureaux de change andmoney transmission companies). As of January 1, 2004, more business sectors are subject to formal Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) requirements.

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 went into effect on January 1, 2003. The Act creates, for the regulated sector, a new criminal offense of failing to disclose suspicious transactions in respect to all crimes, not just narcotics or terrorism-related crimes, as was the case previously. Along with the Act came an expansion of investigative powers relative to large movements of cash in the UK. The UK Money Laundering Legislation of 2007 went into effect on December 15, 2007. An amendment in 2012 extended the scope of the regulations to include estate agents, and included a power for professional supervisory bodies to share information with each other.

AML Training in the UK

The Proceeds of Crime Act of 2002 requires that all financial institutions operating within the United Kingdom implement Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Terrorist Financing (AML/CTF) training programs to combat illicit activity.

The Economy of the UK

The UK economy is the largest in Europe after Germany, at the same time it is also ranked as the fifth worldwide in terms of GDP. The GDP of the UK economy grew by around 3% in the 2006 fiscal year.

London, the capital of UK, is one of the most important centers of trade and commerce in the world along with New York City and Tokyo. The UK economy is characterized by a free market involving a low taxation and regulation on the part of the administration.

The service sector of the UK is dominated by financial services, especially in banking and insurance. London is the world's largest financial center with the London Stock Exchange, the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange, and the Lloyd's of London insurance market all based in the City of London.

Banking in the UK

British banking has been highly consolidated since the early 20th century. Unlike some other major economies, the UK does not have a major stratum of independent local banks.

The UK’s major banks include:

Bank supervision falls under the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The FSA’s primary responsibilities relate to the safety and soundness of the institutions under its jurisdiction. The FSA also plays an important role in the fight against money laundering through its continued involvement in the authorization of banks, and investigations of money laundering activities involving banks.

The UK has the largest concentration of foreign bank branches in the world. In the past decade, a rival financial centre in London has grown in the Docklands area, with HSBC and Barclays Bank relocating their head offices there. Many multinational companies that are not primarily UK-based have chosen to site their European or rest-of-world headquarters in London: an example is the US financial services firm Citigroup. The Scottish capital, Edinburgh, is also one of the large financial centers of Europe.

UK Currency

The pound sterling is the currency of the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory, and British Indian Ocean Territory.

The British Pound (GBP) is the currency of the UK. It is available in both banknotes and coins.

Because the UK is a member of the European Union (EU) it has the option of adopting the Euro as its official currency, but no steps have been taken to do so.

Other Key Statistics of the UK

Time Zone: (GMT), Summer (DST) - BST (UTC+1).

Location: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland comprises the island of Great Britain (most of England, Scotland and Wales) and the northeastern 1/6 of the island of Ireland (Northern Ireland), together with smaller islands. The mainland lies between latitudes 49° and 59° N (the Shetland Islands reach to nearly 61° N), and longitudes 8° W to 2° E.

Population: 64,100,00 (2013 estimate.)

Capital: London.

Languages Spoken: English, Welsh (about 26% of the population of Wales), Scottish form of Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland).


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Anti Money Laundering (AML) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

United Arab Emirates (UAE)


Anti Money Laundering (AML) By Country: UAE

Anti Money Laundering (AML) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

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Money laundering is a problem for the UAE, despite the steps the country has taken to combat financial, organized, and terrorist crimes. The UAE maintains a strong Anti-Money Laundering (AML) system in an effort to protect against the possibility of money laundering and terrorist financing.

Since 2001, the UAE Government (UAEG) has taken steps to better monitor cash flows through the UAE financial system and to cooperate with international efforts to combat terrorist financing. The UAE has enacted two laws that serve as the foundation for the country’s Anti Money Laundering (AML) and counterterrorist financing (CTF) efforts: Law No 4/2002, the Anti Money Laundering law, and Law No. 1/2004, the counterterrorism law.

Although the Anti-Money Laundering law criminalizes money laundering, it is administrative Regulation No. 24/2000 that provides guidelines for how financial institutions are to monitor for money laundering activity.

This regulation requires banks, money exchange houses, finance companies, and any other financial institutions operating in the UAE to follow strict Know Your Customer (KYC) guidelines. Additionally, financial institutions must verify the customer’s identity and maintain transaction details (including name and address of originator and beneficiary) for all exchange house transactions over $545, and for all non-account holder bank transactions over $10,900. The regulation delineates the procedures to be followed for the identification of natural and juridical persons, the types of documents to be presented, and rules on what customer records must be maintained on file at the institution. Other provisions of Regulation 24/2000 call for customer records to be maintained for a minimum of five years and further require that they be periodically updated as long as the account is open.

On July 29, 2004, the UAE strengthened its legal authority to combat terrorism and terrorist financing, by passing Law No. 1/2004. The law sets stiff penalties for the crimes covered, including life imprisonment and the death penalty. It also provides for asset seizure or forfeiture. Under the law, founders of terrorist organizations face up to life imprisonment. The law also penalizes the illegal manufacture, import, or transport of "non-conventional weapons" or their components, with the intent to use them in a terrorist activity.

In July 2013, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) AML Module was revised to be the Anti-Money Laundering, Counter Terrorist Financing and Sanctions Module (AML Rules).

AML Training in the UAE

The Regulation Concerning Procedures for Anti-Money Laundering requires financial institutions within the UAE to create and implement Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Terrorist Financing (AML/CTF) training programs to combat criminal activity within the country.

The regulator for AML controls in the UAE is the Central Bank (CBUAE); in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) free-zone, it is the DFSA. The CBUAE regulates all banks, moneychangers, finance companies, and other financial institutions operating in the United Arab Emirates while the DFSA regulates Authorised Firms, which include banks, insurance companies, investment banks, asset managers, and fund administrators, providing financial services in the DIFC. Both regulators require financial institutions to have extensive customer due diligence (CDD) policies as part of their AML/CTF programs.

The Economy of the UAE

Since the discovery of oil in the UAE more than 30 years ago, the UAE has undergone a huge transformation from an impoverished region of small principalities to a modern state with a high standard of living. The government has increased spending on job creation and is opening up utilities to a greater private sector involvement.

Banking in the UAE

The Central Bank of the UAE is the Central Bank of the UAE.

The supervision of the UAE banking and financial sector (including banks, exchange houses, and investment companies) falls under the authority of the Central Bank. The Central Bank issues licenses to financial institutions under its supervision and can impose administrative sanctions for compliance violations. The Central Bank issues instructions and recommendations as it deems appropriate and is permitted to take any necessary measures to ensure the integrity of the UAE’s financial system. The central bank has issued a number of circulars outlining the requirements for customer identification and providing for a basic suspicious transaction-reporting obligation.

UAE's Currency

In 1973 the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED) was introduced, replacing the Qatar and Dubai Riyal.

Dirham is issued in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000. Coins are issued in denominations of AED 1 and coins (fils) of 5, 10, 25 and 50.

Other Key Statistic of the UAE

Time Zone: GST(UTC+4).

Location: Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Population: 9,346,129 (2013 estimate.)

Capital: Abu Dhabi.

Languages Spoken: Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu.


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Anti Money Laundering (AML) in South Africa

South Africa


Anti Money Laundering (AML) By Country: South Africa

Anti Money Laundering (AML) in South Africa

South Africa
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Money laundering in the Republic of South Africa is a hot spot for money laundering related activities, including the narcotics trade, smuggling, human trafficking, and diamond dealings. South Africa’s position as the major financial center in the region, its relatively sophisticated banking and financial sector, and its large cash-based market, all make it a very attractive target for transnational and domestic crime syndicates. The South African Government (SAG) estimates that between $2 and $8 billion is laundered each year through South African financial institutions. The Proceeds of Crime Act (No. 76 of 1996) criminalizes money laundering for all serious crimes. This Act was supplemented by the Prevention of Organized Crime Act (no. 121 of 1998), which confirms the criminal character of money laundering, mandates the reporting of suspicious transactions, and provides a "safe harbor" for good faith compliance. Violation of this act carries a fine of up to rand 100 million or imprisonment for up to 30 years.

The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) was established in 2001 to act as the primary authority over Anti-Money Laundering (AML) efforts in South Africa. The FIC is responsible for establishing an AML regime and maintaining the integrity of the South African financial system by enforcing recordkeeping and reporting procedures of financial institutions within the country.

The FIC Amendment Act (No. 11 of 2008) was issued in August 2008 and took effect in 2010, and clarified the roles and responsibilities of supervisory bodies. The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Control regulations were published in 2002 and have since been amended on various occasions; they create a comprehensive legal framework for the combating of money laundering and terrorist financing.

AML Training in South Africa

The Proceeds of Crime Act and the Prevention of Organized Crime Act require South African financial institutions to create training programs to combat illicit financial transactions from occurring in the country.

The Economy of South Africa

South Africa is considered an emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources and well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors. The South African stock exchange, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is ranked 17th largest in the world.

Throughout history, South Africa has played an important role in trade. Cape Town was established in 1652 by Dutch traders and saw much activity in the centuries to follow, particularly with the discovery of diamonds and gold attracting foreigners to the country. However, economic problems exist from the apartheid era, including poverty, a shortage of public transportation, and general lack of economic empowerment among disadvantaged groups.

Banking in South Africa

The South African Reserve Bank is the Central Bank of the Republic of South Africa. The Central Bank is responsible for the country’s monetary policy, as well as bank regulation and supervision in South Africa.

The Reserve Bank also has the sole right to print, issue, and destroy banknotes and coins in South Africa. It issues all new currency through its subsidiaries – the SA Mint Company mints all of the country’s coins while the SA Bank Note Company prints all of the country’s banknotes.

South African Currency

The currency of South Africa is the rand. The South African Reserve Bank is the only issuer of the rand. Coins are available in denominations of ½, 1, 2½, 5, 10, 20 and 50. Banknotes are available in denominations of 1, 2, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200.

Other Key Statistics of South Africa

Time Zone: SAST (UTC+2).

Location: Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa.

Population: 54,002,000 (2014 estimate).

Capital: Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), Cape Town (legislative).

Languages Spoken: IsiZulu, IsiXhosa, Afrikaans, Sepedi, English, Setswana, Sesotho, Xitsonga.


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