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Brussels puts Saudi Arabia on finance blacklist

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Staff Writer |
Saudi Arabia
Europe   EU lenders will now be required to carry out more robust checks

Having been classified as a major threat to security due to its refusal to crack down on terrorism financing and a continued lack of enthusiasm for halting massive money laundering schemes, the European Commission added Saudi Arabia to its list of nations who are considered serial offenders when it comes to financial crimes.

EU lenders will now be required to carry out more robust checks on payments involving entities from the Kingdom.

The announcement came as part of a broader crackdown by the EU on countries that are considered the worst money laundering offenders.

Included, along with Saudi Arabia, on the blacklist are 23 other countries and territories – Panama, Nigeria, Libya, Botswana, Ghana, Samoa, the Bahamas, American Samoa, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, Afghanistan, North Korea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, and Yemen.

In addition to their weak approach towards cracking down on money laundering and terrorism financing, the blacklist includes entities who have either refused to coordinate or have insufficient cooperation with the EU on all matters of transparency about the beneficial owners of companies and trusts.

The 28 EU members now have one month to endorse the new list.

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