Amendments to AML regulations in progress in Thailand

Thursday, 17 September 2020
Thailand’s cabinet and parliament is now progressing key amendments to its anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, in order to comply with the international standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The amendments, if approved by the cabinet and parliament, will update the Anti-Money Laundering Act 1999 (AMLA) and the Counter Terrorism and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction Financing Act 2016.

A heightened focus has been placed on financial technology services. The AMLA’s definition of financial institutions will be expanded to cover businesses related to financial services or financial technology services considered to be a money laundering risk, including but not limited to:

  • asset management and digital asset businesses;
  • trustees in capital market trusts;
  • derivatives businesses;
  • authorised juristic persons under foreign exchange controls;
  • personal loan businesses;
  • peer-to-peer lending businesses;
  • regulated e-payment systems and services; and
  • non-bank credit card service providers.

The definition of professions will also expand to include occupations such as accounting, auditing and legal consulting.

The government has also implemented new customer due-diligence regulations under the Ministerial Regulation on Customer Due Diligence 2020, which came into force on 12 August. This regulation exempts reporting entities from the requirement to identify beneficial owners of certain types of customers, including government entities, special financial institutions and listed companies.

Under the new laws, the powers of the AML authorities will increase, to allow the Anti-Money Laundering Office to act as a central financial intelligence agency regulating companies both within and outside of Thailand.


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