Critical analysis of the impact of the anti-money laundering act on commercial banks in Uganda

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Kampala International University
The anti-money laundering law is recognized internationally as an important law in combating money laundering especially in banks. To detect money laundering in Uganda, the Anti-Money Laundering Act was enacted in 2013 to guide banks on what measures to implement. However, the AMLA counter measures have put a significant regulatory and compliance burden on the financial institutions and banks. These measures have not only increased the costs, risks, dilemmas incurred by the banks but have also affected the banks relationship with customers. The main objective of this study was therefore to examine the impact of the Anti-Money Laundering Act on commercial banks in Uganda. To achieve this, the study used both doctrinal and empirical methods. The study found that the AMLA had both positive and negative impact on the commercial banks. The major positive impacts were that it increased the standard of identifying customers and enhanced the screening of transactions. The negative impacts were it increased the costs incurred by the bank and broadened the regulatory frame work for banks. This study recommended that even though banks are obliged to fight against money laundering, the various risks and dilemmas experienced by banks showed that there was a regulatory gap in the AMLA that needed to be filled. In the case of the overall increment in the costs incurred by the bank, this study recommended banks to use advanced technology, software and modern management technologies.
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anti-money laundering act, Commercial banks, Uganda