Central Bank of Bahrain

Anti-Money Laundering & Combating the Financing of Terrorism

The Central Bank of Bahrain views the fight against money laundering ('AML') and combating the financing of terrorism ('CFT') as a key priority. Bahrain is part of the Financial Action Task Force ('FATF') through the full membership of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the FATF, and is committed to the implementation of all international standards in this area. Bahrain is also a founding member of the regional MENA-FATF, and hosts its secretariat.

In order to ensure effective compliance with relevant standards and to preserve Bahrain's strong reputation as a well-regulated financial centre, the CBB maintains a Compliance Directorate, which is tasked with leading the CBB's AML/CFT efforts. The Compliance Directorate is also tasked with handling complaints received from the public relating to CBB licensees, and for receiving information on financial crimes, such as fraud attempts.

The Compliance Directorate

The activities of the Compliance Directorate include:

• Undertaking AML/CFT examinations of licensees.

• Analysing financial crime trends and developments.

• Promoting awareness of financial crime risks.

• Issuing AML/CFT regulations and guidance.

• Disseminating AML/CFT 'black-lists'.

• Disseminating fraud and other investor alerts.

• Handling consumer complaints.

The Compliance Directorate may be contacted by E-mail, telephone (+973 17 547 956) or by fax (+973 17 535 673).

Compliance Directorate Publications

1.AML/CFT Key Features - 2005 Regulations:  
A pamphlet on CBB's AML/CFT regulation

AML/CFT Legislation

The Kingdom of Bahrain's primary legislation relevant to AML/CFT are:

1.Decree Law No. 4 of 2001 with Respect to the Prevention and Prohibition of the Laundering of Money
English / Arabic

2.Decree Law No. 54 of 2006 with Respect to Amending Certain Provisions of Legislative Decree No. 4 of 2001 with Respect to the Prevention and Prohibition of the Laundering of Money
English / Arabic

3.Decree Law no 25 of 2013 amending certain provisions of legislative decree law no 4 of 2001 with Respect to the Prevention and Prohibition of the Laundering of Money

4.Decree Law no 36 of 2017 amending article 3 of decree law no 4 of 2001 with Respect to the Prevention and Prohibition of the Laundering of Money

5.Decree Law No. 58 of 2006 with Respect to the Protection of Society from Terrorism Activities

More detailed requirements implementing the above laws with respect to financial institutions are contained in the Financial Crime Module of each relevant Rulebook Volume.

AML/CFT Committee

The AML/CFT Policy Committee is responsible for formulating and coordinating the Government of Bahrain’s policies and processes aimed at combating money laundering and terrorist financing. Established in 2001, it comprises representatives from across government ministries and agencies, as well as the Central Bank of Bahrain.

In early 2006, the chairmanship of the Policy Committee was transferred from the Ministry of Finance to the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain. Its membership was also expanded, to comprise representatives from the Ministries of Finance, Industry and Commerce, Interior, and Social Development; the Directorates of Customs and Legal Affairs; the Office of Public Prosecution; the National Security Agency; the Bahrain Stock Exchange; and the Central Bank of Bahrain.

The Policy Committee holds regular quarterly meetings, at which policies are agreed and developments monitored. The Committee in 2007 also created two sub-committees. The first, the UN Sub-Committee is tasked with ensuring that the Kingdom of Bahrain fully complies with all UN-mandated action in the field of sanctions; it is the Kingdom of Bahrain’s formal body for designating specific individuals and organizations as suspected of involvement in terrorist financing. The second sub-committee is the Legal Sub-Committee, which is tasked with drafting all AML/CFT related laws prior to them being forwarded to the Parliament for approval.

1. Consolidated United Nations Security Council Sanctions List

2. UN Security Council Resolutions

AML/CFT 'Black List'

The Government of Bahrain ('GOB') may from time to time designate certain individuals and organizations as being linked to the financing of terrorism, for instance when so designated by the United Nations. These names are circulated to the financial sector by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

AML/CFT Assessment

Bahrain's compliance with international AML/CFT standards was assessed by the International Monetary Fund in 2005, as part of a financial sector assessment programme review of the Kingdom. The report was approved by the IMF in January 2006. The same report was subsequently discussed and endorsed by the MENA-FATF in November 2006.

International AML / CFT Standards

Since its creation by the G7 in 1989, the Financial Action Task Force ('FATF') has spearheaded the effort to adopt and implement measures designed to counter the use of the financial system by criminals. The FATF now includes 33 members, including the Gulf Cooperation Council ('GCC'), which represents its six member states.

The FATF 40 Recommendations on money laundering and terrorism financing provide the most widely recognised standards in this area; they form the basis for the Government of Bahrain's actions with respect to AML/CFT.

FATF Recommendations

For further information on AML/CFT issues, please view the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) website.



The following lists a selection of websites relevant to AML/CFT. Please note that the CBB is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

The Kingdom of Bahrain:

The Anti-Money Laundering Unit: www.amlu.gov.bh
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce: www.commerce.gov.bh

International Organizations:

The Financial Action Task Force: www.fatf-gafi.org
The Middle-East North Africa Financial Action Task Force: www.menafatf.org
The Egmont Group: www.egmontgroup.org
The United Nations: www.un.org/terrorism
The International Monetary Fund: www.imf.org
The UN Counter-Terrorism Committee: www.un.org/Docs/sc/committees/1373/

Industry Associations

The Wolfsberg Group: www.wolfsberg-principles.com
The Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists: www.acams.org
Moneylaundering.com: www.moneylaundering.com
Bahrain E governance siteBahrain 2030