Governance Framework

The Head of Compliance (HOC) and the compliance team is entrusted by the Board of BOK Group and both the Group and Country CEOs to establish, implement and manage the bank wide AML, CFT and sanctions related policy and procedures. HOC is responsible to adherence to all applicable Financial Crime regulations and obligations and responsible for establishing and maintaining the AML program to identify, assess, manage, monitor and report the risks to Anti Financial Crimes at the Central Bank of The UAE.

Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering of Terrorist Financing (CTF) Framework

BOK International UAE complies with applicable standards set out by the Central Bank of The UAE Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating Terrorist Financing (CTF) practices in all markets and jurisdictions in which it operates including the UAE. It is a committed to complying with Laws and regulations related to anti-fraud, anti-bribery and corruption prevention as well.

In line with the Bank’s AML and CFT framework, the Bank has also put in place and not limited to the below measures:

  • AML/CFT Policy
  • Customer On Boarding Policy
  • Risk Based Approach
  • Controls
  • Sanctions policy
  • Training Programs
  • Anti-Bribery and Anti-Fraud Policy
  • Record Retention Policy
  • Independent Review – Internal and External audit

The Bank is committed to create value for its customers whilst meeting its statutory and regulatory obligations. It includes maintaining a best practice AML, fraud and corruption prevention culture. BOK International UAE staff are provided with training and communication in ethics and compliance, including anti-money laundering awareness,        anti-fraud, bribery and corruption prevention, to understand their responsibilities and obligations in observing and maintaining high standards of integrity in all business dealings.

A proactive AML structure is in place to ensure group-wide compliance including AML/CTF procedures.  This structure consists of the Group Head of Compliance, overseas branch Head of Compliance, MLROs, Deputy MLROs, and Compliance Officers.  The Bank also maintains systems to ensure that business relationships are commenced with clients whose identity and activities can reasonably be established to be legitimate, to collect and record all relevant client information and to monitor and report suspicious transactions.  This is reflective in the detailed and careful client on-boarding process that the bank follows. The Bank’s core values and standards, governance and risk management frameworks, and controls work together to prevent, detect and respond to potential or actual fraudulent or corrupt conduct.  The Bank also has in place records retention procedures to reflect regulatory requirements.

Customer On-Boarding/KYC Policy

BOK International UAE has a very high standard of customer on-boarding policy with regard to on-boarding clients. The bank will refuse to open an account / enter into a relationship / terminate accounts / relationships, if there is any doubts about ownership, source of funds of customers, if the customer is connected in any way to terrorist/criminal organizations or listed in any sanction or black lists.

Record Retention

BOK International UAE has a comprehensive record and retention / archival policy which is strictly followed and is as per the guidelines set out by the Central Bank of The UAE

Compliance with FATCA

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a United States (US) law that was introduced by the United States Department of Treasury (Treasury) and the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) aimed at foreign financial institutions (FFIs) and other financial intermediaries, to encourage better tax compliance by preventing US Persons from using Banks and other Financial Organizations to avoid US taxation on their income and assets through use of offshore accounts.  The IRS has set up a framework to collect on a periodic basis from non-US financial institutions information relating to foreign income and assets held by US taxpayers outside the US.  This regulation requires financial institutions to put in place procedures to identify their US clients.  Otherwise, they will be subject to a 30% withholding tax for all financial flows from a US source or from the US that they receive on their behalf or on behalf of their customers.

BOK International UAE has registered as a foreign financial institution (Deemed-Compliant Financial Institution) with the US’s Internal Revenue Service, and obtained a Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN).  BOK International’s parent Bank of Khartoum is registered as an FFI with the IRS and has obtained a separate GIIN.

BOK International UAE is committed to comply with FATCA laws and regulations and intends to meet all obligations imposed under FATCA. BOK International UAE participates to comply with the Central Bank of The UAE to meet the objectives of Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

Compliance with Common Reporting Standards

Many governments around the world are looking at ways in which they can exchange information in order to fight tax evasion and protect the integrity of the tax systems.  This has resulted in the development by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (the OECD) of a system for the automatic exchange of information between member states relating to tax payers within the OECD.  This system is commonly referred to as the ‘Common Reporting Standard’.  Many governments within the OECD have adopted the Common Reporting Standard under new local law.

These local laws will mean that from the beginning of January 2017, governments will start requiring all banks and other financial institutions to ask customers for information with a view to determining where they are resident for tax purposes.

BOK International UAE will be complying with the CRS directives that have been introduced by the OECD and will comply with the CRS directives which the Central Bank of The UAE will issue to all banks on complying with CRS.  BOK International UAE is committed to protecting the integrity of tax systems and preventing financial crime of all types and will fully comply with these new laws.

Should you have any queries related to your personal tax matters, we suggest that you consult a professional tax advisor, as BOK International UAE is not authorized to provide you with any tax advice.