All financing, lending firms subject to AMLC rules —SEC

 All financing and lending firms are now required to register with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and comply with other rules and standards at combating the entry of dirty money into the country.

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Under a memorandum circular released by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 30, the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) and the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act (TFPSA) were amended to add all financing and lending firms among supervised covered persons of the corporate regulator.

Prior to this, only those required to comply with the AMLA and the TFPSA were financing and lending companies with over 40% foreign participation in the voting stocks, and those with paid-up capital of at least P10 million.

"The amendment aims to protect financing and lending companies from abuse and misuse by money launders and terrorists, and more importantly the integrity of the financial system, the overall economy, and the people who would ultimately suffer from such illicit activities," SEC Chairperson Emilio Aquino in a statement on Sunday.

As covered persons, all firms will be required to register in the online reporting system of the AMLC, and submit proof of such registration to the SEC within two months from the effectivity date of the newly-issued memorandum circular.

The Philippines in January passed into law amendments to the AMLA which seek to strengthen the measure, such as allowing the Court of Appeals (CA) to issue a freeze order on assets from 20 days to six months.

It also prevents any court from stopping the AMLC from conducting civil forfeiture proceedings to preserve or protect the assets in question, except for the Supreme Court and the CA



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