CBN Enacts New Guidelines To Fight Money Laundering

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has issued new guidelines for the licensing of banks and other financial institutions on implementation of provisions of the Anti- Money Laundering, Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Countering Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction Financing (AML/CFT/ CPF) regulations.

In a circular released by the apex bank, it said the move was to ensure compliance with AML/CFT/CPF rules by individuals and entities applying for license to operate as banks or other financial institutions.

According to the CBN, the guidelines represent the minimum AML/CFT/CPF requirements for licensing of new financial institutions and should be read in conjunction with applicable AML/CFT/CPF laws and regulations.

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The regulator said the objectives of the guidelines include: Ensuring that proceeds of crimes are not used to establish financial institutions; making sure that criminals do not own or control financial institutions in the country; identifying and verifying the beneficial owners of financial institutions and ensuring that promoters of financial institutions put in place appropriate and effective measures to mitigate ML/ TF/PF risks.

On requirements for license application, the guidelines state that promoters of financial institutions are required, in addition to complying with other licensing requirements specified in relevant institution-type guidelines, submit along with their application for Approval- in-Principle, documents such as: “Completed and personally signed Beneficial Owners Declaration Form; notarised statement of net-worth for all Beneficial Owners and completed and personally signed Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) declaration form.

Also, under beneficial ownership information, the guidelines state that promoters of financial institutions are required to provide documents for the identification and verification of beneficial owners such as, shareholding structure of the institution for which licence is sought and where a shareholder or prospective shareholder is a legal person or legal arrangement, relevant incorporation documents, detailing current shareholding structure and directorship/ trustee/fiduciary information should be provided.