UAE residents to benefit from lower bank fees, more jobs post-FATF delisting

Asma Ahmed - | UAE

Despite undergoing scrutiny, the UAE emerged from its two-year probationary period without significant repercussions.

This development follows the removal of the UAE from the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) 'grey' list, a milestone with far-reaching benefits, according to experts.

Lower bank fees, smoother foreign currency transactions, and increased trade and investment opportunities leading to expanded employment prospects are among the advantages anticipated following the UAE's removal from the FATF watchlist. Mohamed Daoud, an industry practice lead at Moody’s Analytics, emphasized that this action underscores the UAE's commitment to combating financial crimes and sanctions evasion, potentially resulting in improved trust in its financial system.

However, Daoud cautioned that the full benefits of this removal may not be immediate, as it takes time for foreign institutions and banks to update their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) measures. He likened the process to a gradual thawing rather than an instantaneous change.

The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) hailed FATF's decision as a testament to the significant progress the UAE has made in addressing its AML and CTF measures over the past two years.

Explaining the concept of gray listing, Barney Almazar, director at Gulf Law, described it as a designation given to countries with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regimes. He stressed that being on the gray list serves as a warning to nations to enhance their regulatory frameworks to meet international standards set by the FATF.

Almazar emphasized that the UAE's removal from the gray list signifies significant progress in addressing weaknesses in AML and CTF measures. He highlighted the stringent measures implemented by the UAE to combat financial crimes, which have contributed to its reinstatement.

Despite the challenges posed by the grey listing, the UAE's resilient economy and attractiveness to businesses and investors globally have ensured that it did not face major repercussions during the probationary period. Mayank Sawhney, managing director at Dubai-based MaxGrowth Consulting, emphasized the enhanced credibility and job opportunities resulting from the UAE's successful navigation through this period.

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Asma Ahmed
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