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Pakistan’s State Bank unveils new AML/CFT regulations for Forex Firms

State Bank of Pakistan on Tuesday amended Anti-money laundering (AML) and Counter Financing of terrorism (CFT) related regulations in foreign exchange companies manual 2018 to further align them with the FATF action plan.

The global finance watchdog is going to announce its decision regarding the country’s deficiencies in AML/CFT laws.

“Exchange Companies shall take steps to ensure that there AML/CFT policies adhere to FATF regulations,” the SBP said. To achieve this, their policies, SOPs, compliance programs, and delivery channels will be monitored on an ongoing basis by the board of directors.

Foreign Exchange companies are further required to identify the customers and verify their identity on the basis of authentic documents, data or information. The need to identify if there is a beneficial owner who isn’t the customer.

For exchanging any foreign currency equal to, or below, the threshold of USD 500, exchange firms may resort to normal customer due diligence, wherein details like name and number of identity documents should be obtained at the minimum if there are no circumstances of a suspicious transaction.

According to the amendments by SBP, Forex firms shall employ automated systems for customer risk profiling, AML screening, and transaction monitoring. Moreover, the firms are required to take appropriate measures to manage and eliminate any risk that may arise afterward.