The Kingdom of Bahrain has been growing into a globally recognized financial center while there has been growing concerns around the world about the misuse of the international financial system by organized money laundering and terrorist financing schemes. Therefore, it was critical for the Kingdom to maintain and protect its position by developing an anti-money laundering and combating of the financing of terrorism framework that complies with the international standards in this field.
Leading the region: From the vision of Central Bank of Bahrain to promote financial stability in the Kingdom of Bahrain through the application of best standards and practices through the continuous development of legislation, regulatory and ways of their implementation in order to achieve sustainability and bringing the financial sector to the levels of global competitiveness, the Central Bank made a quantum leap in the Middle East and the North Africa in the field of prevention and combating of money laundering and terrorist financing, thereby bringing the Kingdom to the class-leading in this area.
In 2005, the Central Bank of Bahrain invited the International Monetary Fund for a comprehensive evaluation of legislation control to measure the extent of compliance with regulations, and international legislative. Following that and prior to the commence of the IMF evaluation team visit, the Central Bank initiated a self assessment project to evaluate the Kingdom’s regulations, and supervisory framework in the field of prevention and combating of money laundering and terrorism financing based on the methodology adopted and issued by the financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The outcomes of the final evaluation of the Kingdom of Bahrain by the International Monetary Fund were to a large extent in line with the results ofthe self-assessment project initiated by the Central Bank. The Kingdom of Bahrain adopted the final evaluation prepared by the International Monetary Fund and committed itself to its recommendations in the meeting of the Financial Action Task Force for Middle East and North Africa (MENAFATF), which was held in Abu Dhabi in 2006. The Kingdom committed to implement all the recommendations through a clear action plan and a specific timetable set by the policy committee on prevention and combating of money laundering and terrorist financing under the chairmanship of the Central Bank and membership of several key partners such as the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Commerce,the Ministry of Humanrights and Social Development,the National Security Service, the Public Prosecution, Ministry of Labor, the General Administration of Customs and the Bahrain Stock Exchange.