Anti-Money Laundering & Combating the Financing of Terrorism
The Central Bank of Bahrain views the fight against money laundering ('AML') and combating the financing of terrorism ('CFT') as a key priority. Bahrain is part of the Financial Action Task Force ('FATF') through the full membership of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the FATF, and is committed to the implementation of all international standards in this area. Bahrain is also a founding member of the regional MENA-FATF, and hosts its secretariat.
In order to ensure effective compliance with relevant standards and to preserve Bahrain's strong reputation as a well-regulated financial centre, the CBB maintains a Compliance Directorate, which is tasked with leading the CBB's AML/CFT efforts. The Compliance Directorate is also tasked with handling complaints received from the public relating to CBB licensees, and for receiving information on financial crimes, such as fraud attempts.
The Compliance Directorate
• Undertaking AML/CFT examinations of licensees.
• Analysing financial crime trends and developments.
• Promoting awareness of financial crime risks.
• Issuing AML/CFT regulations and guidance.
• Disseminating AML/CFT 'black-lists'.
• Disseminating fraud and other investor alerts.
• Handling consumer complaints.
The Compliance Directorate may be contacted by E-mail, telephone (+973 17 547 956) or by fax (+973 17 535 673).
Compliance Directorate Publications
A short general guide on the importance of AML efforts, together with an overview of the AML regime applied in Bahrain.
2.AML/CFT Key Features - 2005 Regulations:
A pamphlet on CBB's AML/CFT regulation
1.Decree Law No. 4 of 2001 with Respect to the Prevention and Prohibition of the Laundering of Money
English / Arabic
2.Decree Law No. 54 of 2006 with Respect to Amending Certain Provisions of Legislative Decree No. 4 of 2001 with Respect to the Prevention and Prohibition of the Laundering of Money
English / Arabic
3.Decree Law No. 58 of 2006 with Respect to the Protection of Society from Terrorism Activities
English / Arabic
More detailed requirements implementing the above laws with respect to financial institutions are contained in the Financial Crime Module of each relevant Rulebook Volume.
In early 2006, the chairmanship of the Policy Committee was transferred from the Ministry of Finance to the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain. Its membership was also expanded, to comprise representatives from the Ministries of Finance, Industry and Commerce, Interior, and Social Development; the Directorates of Customs and Legal Affairs; the Office of Public Prosecution; the National Security Agency; the Bahrain Stock Exchange; and the Central Bank of Bahrain.
The Policy Committee holds regular quarterly meetings, at which policies are agreed and developments monitored. The Committee in 2007 also created two sub-committees. The first, the UN Sub-Committee is tasked with ensuring that the Kingdom of Bahrain fully complies with all UN-mandated action in the field of sanctions; it is the Kingdom of Bahrain’s formal body for designating specific individuals and organizations as suspected of involvement in terrorist financing. The second sub-committee is the Legal Sub-Committee, which is tasked with drafting all AML/CFT related laws prior to them being forwarded to the Parliament for approval.
Ministerial Order No 1 of 2006, regarding the Policy Committee: English / Arabic
UN Sub-Committee Resolution: English / Arabic
Legal Sub-Committee Resolution: English / Arabic
AML/CFT 'Black List'
• The latest CBB designation.
• The UN list of designated individuals: www.un.org/Docs/sc/committees/1267/1267ListEng.htm
The detailed assessment report produced by the IMF and Bahrain's latest progress report on measures taken since are provided here for information.
Detailed Assessment Report
Update (January 2007)
International AML / CFT Standards
The FATF 40 Recommendations on money laundering and 9 Special Recommendations on terrorism financing provide the most widely recognised standards in this area; they form the basis for the Government of Bahrain's actions with respect to AML/CFT.
FATF 40 Recommendations
FATF 9 Special Recommendations
For further information on AML/CFT issues, please view the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) website.
The Kingdom of Bahrain:
The Anti-Money Laundering Unit: www.amlu.gov.bh
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce: www.commerce.gov.bh
The Financial Action Task Force: www.fatf-gafi.org
The Middle-East North Africa Financial Action Task Force: www.menafatf.org
The Egmont Group: www.egmontgroup.org
The United Nations: www.un.org/terrorism
The International Monetary Fund: www.imf.org
The UN Counter-Terrorism Committee: www.un.org/Docs/sc/committees/1373/