Unisys tackles money launderers

The UAE's banks could increasingly be targetted by money launderers, Unisys executives warned today, but the company offers a technology solution to deal with the problem

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By  David Ingham Published  January 10, 2001

Watch out, money launderers are about, Unisys warned UAE banking executives today. Rowan Bosworth-Davies, principal consultant with the company's global business development programme, said that although the country isn't yet perceived by the rest of the world as a centre for illegal money, it could be at risk.

"The UAE has a vast amount of legitimate business and wherever this goes, criminal business follows," said Bosworth-Davies. "I would say that this region is probably at a high risk level because of its proximity to Russia and the former Soviet Union."

Not surprisingly, Unisys has a technology to combat the problem. Its e-@ction Anti-Money Laundering software studies the behaviour of a customer's account over time and alerts bank employees of any significant changes in that behaviour. Bosworth-Davies said that this reduces the need for much of the manual checking of customer accounts that currently has to go on if banks want to counter money-laundering.

The Gulf region does appear to be taking the wider issue seriously. Gulf states, through the Gulf Co-operation Council, have signed up as members of the Financial Action Task Force on money Laundering. This body develops and promotes policies, nationally and internationally, to combat the problem.

The UAE Central Bank has devised its own set of anti-money laundering guidelines for banks in the country to follow. Bosworth-Davies said the guidelines are very similar to those used in the UK. "As far as I can tell, the UAE Central Bank seems to be taking the issue very seriously," he said.

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