EBA calls on FIs to ensure sanctions compliance against Russia

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has asked financial institutions to make sure they remain compliant with sanctions against Russia.

The authority – which has also called on the FIs to facilitate access to basic payment accounts for refugees – claimed it is working with relevant authorities to ensure proper implementation by all financial institutions of these restrictive measures.

As part of the tightening, the EBA said it will collect and filter queries related to the scope of the restrictive measures as they apply to banks and channel them to the EU Commission who will answer them. The EBA added that it will ‘continue to closely monitor and assess the situation to inform decisions and actions need to mitigate short-and-medium-term risks’.

Financial institutions are required to assess the adequacy and effectiveness of internal controls and governance to ensure compliance with these measures and to adapt or enhance systems and processes as appropriate.

Competent authorities are currently working to ensure the adequacy of internal controls and governance in supervised entities. These authorities are also collaborating closely with supervised institutions, FIUs and law enforcement to identify, monitor and raise awareness of fraud typologies and financial crime to prevent avoidance of the restrictive measures.

The EBA said, “The EBA strongly encourages banks and other financial institutions to carefully consider the prudential and business impact of the short and longer-term risks they face in light of these geopolitical developments. This includes the broader impact of economic and political sanctions as well as the increased economic uncertainty and vulnerabilities arising from the current situation. Cyber risks are a particular area requiring continued attention. Against this background, banks and other financial institutions are encouraged to consider the appropriateness of their business continuity plans.”

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