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Bank Negara to continue strengthening Malaysia’s financial system integrity

Bank Negara will continue with initiatives and measures to strengthen the integrity of the financial system in Malaysia.

The central bank said in order to prevent abuse of cash to support illicit activities, the National Coordination Committee to Counter Money Laundering (NCC) will be consulting the public on imposing a limit of RM50,000 on the usage of physical cash for transactions.

“Any amount in excess of the prescribed limit will have to be settled through traceable methods such as cheques or electronic payments,” said Bank Negara in its 2019 annual report released today.

Bank Negara said as combating financial crime is a shared responsibility amongst many stakeholders, it is crucial that everyone plays their part in ensuring the integrity of the financial sector remains intact.

“We will also continue to keep abreast of international developments and trends to safeguard Malaysia’s anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.

“This includes formulating strategies in response to emerging trends and threats while keeping pace with advancements in technologies,” the report said.

Based on the report, an exposure draft was published to seek industry and public feedback in September 2019, which culminated in the finalisation of the policy in December 2019 and the requirements taking effect in January 2020.

Bank Negara said a key responsibility of the central bank as Malaysia’s financial intelligence unit is to collect, analyse and disseminate information on suspected money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) offences and other serious crimes.

It said reporting institutions are obliged to file a suspicious transaction report (STR) to the bank when they have reasonable grounds to suspect a transaction to be unusual or related to criminal activities.

“In 2019, we received 113,353 STRs, a 30 percent increase from 87,034 received in 2018.

“This points towards greater awareness among reporting institutions of their roles as the first line of defence in helping to combat financial crimes,” the report said.

Bank Negara said it will continue to strengthen and deepen relationships with its international counterparts and other stakeholders in the global fight against financial crimes.

- Bernama

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