One of the significant issues in the past has been that most international banks have not conducted direct banking transactions with Myanmar banks. This was at least partially due to Myanmar being on an international black list that discourages banks from countries that are a “member” from transacting business with banks from countries on the list. On 24 June 2016, the inter-governmental body the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) has removed Myanmar from its list of states deemed ‘weak’ in combating money laundering and terrorist financing, which should make international banks more comfortable doing business with banks in Myanmar. The United States, China and India are just some of the members of FATF.
“The FATF welcomes Myanmar’s significant progress in improving its AML/CFT regime and notes that Myanmar has established the legal and regulatory framework to meet its commitments in its action plan regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF had identified in February 2010,” the FATF said in a release on 24 June. “Myanmar is therefore no longer subject to the FATF’s monitoring process under its on-going global AML/CFT compliance process. Myanmar will work with the APG as it continues to address the full range of AML/CFT issues identified in its mutual evaluation report.”
Myanmar has passed a series of important updates to its banking and financial systems legislation that modernizes the banking system and creates clearer pathways for cross-border transactions.
The FATF move comes after the United States in February of 2016 further removed certain sanctions from Myanmar. All of this is very positive and should make banking in Myanmar easier.
For more information about banking regulation in Myanmar, please contact DFDL Myanmar Managing Partner William D. Greenlee, Jr.
*The information provided is for information purposes only, and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Legal advice should be obtained from qualified legal counsel for all specific situations.