Mubasher, 30 August 2022: The ADGM Financial Services Regulatory Authority has imposed a fine of 1.3 million AED on Wise Nuqud Ltd (WISE), for violating a number of anti-money laundering requirements.
The Authority found that WISE had not maintained adequate anti-money laundering controls to ensure full compliance with their anti-money laundering obligations.
It was stated that WISE did not verify the source of their funds as part of the enhanced customer due diligence it conducted on a category of clients that were identified as high-risk before undertaking transactions on behalf of these clients. Instead, WISE carried out verification of the source of funds and sources of wealth for these clients when their accounts had met the specified payment threshold.
WISE was required to identify and verify the source of funds (SOF) and the source of wealth (SOW), as part of the Enhanced Customer Due Diligence (EDD) it performed on a category of customers it had identified as high-risk before undertaking transactions on behalf of those customers. Instead, they carried out SOF and SOW checks on those customers only when their account met a specified payment threshold (and after they had already established a business relationship with them).
The firm had also not correctly obtained Senior Management’s approval to establish business relationships with a category of customers that it had identified as high-risk.
The FSRA’s review did not identify any instances of actual money laundering resulting from Wise’s AML systems and control failures. In addition, WISE and its senior management cooperated fully with the FSRA’s enquiries and undertook substantial steps to remediate the issues identified by the FSRA.
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