Absa Bank Kenya resumes foreign exchange operations
Absa Bank Kenya PLC (Absa Kenya) has resumed its foreign exchange operations as an authorized dealer after working with industry regulator Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to iron out issues that led to the suspension of its foreign exchange dealer license.
“Following discussions with the Central Bank of Kenya, we have worked through their concerns and are pleased to inform our customers and stakeholders that, effective Thursday, April 16, 2020, Absa Bank Kenya PLC (Absa Kenya) resumed its foreign exchange operations as an authorized dealer,” Absa Bank Kenya said in a statement.
Last week CBK ordered the bank to stop foreign exchange dealing between April 9 and April 15 for failing to observe anti-money laundering rules on some trades.
“The Central Bank of Kenya has taken regulatory action against Absa Bank Kenya (Absa Kenya), following Absa Kenya’s failure to provide information about some specific foreign exchange trades that it conducted in March 2020,” CBK said at the time.
Under CBK anti-money laundering and terrorism finance regulations, banks have strict obligations to flag abnormal transactions by clients that could signal a violation of the law.
Transfers, deposits, and withdrawals of more than Sh999,999, for example, require clients to submit additional information to the bank.
“In investigating these and other, earlier transactions, it is evident that Absa Bank Kenya did not have the satisfactory assurance of the underlying commercial transactions supporting these trades, as is required; nor did the bank ensure the standard checks on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, and know-your-customer requirements, were applied,” CBK said.