BOK International is an Islamic Wholesale Bank (foreign branch) licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). The Bank was licensed by the CBB on November 2015 under license number WB/083 and was registered in the Kingdom of Bahrain under Registration Certificate No. 95825 in November 2015. The Bank is located at Alubaf Tower, Seef District, Kingdom of Bahrain.
BOK International has established an independent Compliance Department that acts as its focal point for regulatory compliance, compliance with international legislations, compliance with other best practices, and Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing.
BOK International is committed to complying with the laws and regulations of its local regulator, the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and the regulations in all markets and jurisdictions in which it operates, by effectively managing its compliance risk through adherence, communication, providing advice, strengthening risk based non-compliance prevention.
The Board, Senior Management and all other staff of the Bank (parent bank and branches) endeavor to maintain high standards of ethics and professional conduct at all times at every business level while carrying out the Bank’s business activities and complying with applicable guidelines, law and regulations. The Bank will not accept nor condone activities or behavior that will or might in any way conflict with any of its core values and standards.
The Bank maintains high compliance standards with local and international legislation and regulatory bodies like:
Additionally, the Bank adheres to generally accepted business standards and Bank’s own internal regulations on ethical standards and code of conduct. The Bank also adheres to Bahrain’s MOIC’s Corporate Governance Code.
BOK International complies with applicable standards of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating Terrorist Financing (CTF) practices in all markets and jurisdictions in which it operates. It is also committed to complying with Laws and regulations related to anti-fraud, anti-bribery and corruption prevention.
The Bank maintains high AML and CFT compliance standards with local and international legislation and regulatory bodies like:
In line with the Bank’s AML and CFT framework, the Bank has also put in place:
The Bank is committed to create value for its customers whilst meeting its statutory and regulatory obligations which includes maintaining an AML, fraud and corruption prevention culture through which BOK International staff are provided with training and communication in ethics and compliance, including anti-money laundering awareness, anti-fraud, bribery and corruption prevention, to understand their responsibilities and obligations in observing and maintaining high standards of integrity in all business dealings.
A proactive AML structure is in place to ensure group-wide compliance with AML/CFT procedures. This structure consists of the Group Head of Compliance, overseas branch Head of Compliance, MLROs, Deputy MLROs, and Compliance Officers. The Bank also maintains systems to ensure that business relationships are commenced with clients whose identity and activities can reasonably be established to be legitimate, to collect and record all relevant client information and to monitor and report suspicious transactions. The Bank’s core values and standards, governance and risk management frameworks, and controls work together to prevent, detect and respond to potential or actual fraudulent or corrupt conduct. The Bank also has in place records retention procedures to reflect regulatory requirements.
For the AML policy and basic KYC information on BOK, please refer to the following link: http://bankofkhartoum.com/amlcft-program/.
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) is a United States (“US”) law that was introduced by the United States Department of Treasury (Treasury) and the US Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) aimed at foreign financial institutions (“FFIs”) and other financial intermediaries, to encourage better tax compliance by preventing US Persons from using Banks and other Financial Organizations to avoid US taxation on their income and assets through use of offshore accounts. The IRS has set up a framework to collect on a periodic basis from non-US financial institutions information relating to foreign income and assets held by US taxpayers outside the US. This regulation requires financial institutions to put in place procedures to identify their US clients. Otherwise, they will be subject to a 30% withholding tax for all financial flows from a US source or from the US that they receive on their behalf or on behalf of their customers.
BOK International has registered as a foreign financial institution (Deemed-Compliant Financial Institution) with the US’s Internal Revenue Service, and obtained a Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN). BOK International’s parent i.e. Bank of Khartoum has also registered as an FFI with the IRS and obtained a separate GIIN.
BOK International is committed to comply with FATCA laws and regulations and intends to meet all obligations imposed under FATCA. BOK International participates to comply with the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) to meet the objectives of Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
Many governments around the world are looking at ways in which they can exchange information in order to fight tax evasion and protect the integrity of tax systems. This has resulted in the development by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (the “OECD”) of a system for the automatic exchange of information between member states relating to tax payers within the OECD. This system is commonly referred to as the “Common Reporting Standard”. Many governments within the OECD will adopt the Common Reporting Standard under new local law.
These local laws will mean that from the beginning of January 2017, governments will start requiring all banks and other financial institutions to ask customers for information with a view to determining where they are resident for tax purposes.
BOK International (BOKI) Bahrain will be complying with the CRS directives that have been introduced by the OECD and will comply with the CRS directives that will be introduced by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), once the CBB issues its final directive on complying with CRS. BOKI Bahrain is committed to protecting the integrity of tax systems and preventing financial crime of all types and will fully comply with these new laws.
Therefore, from the beginning of 2017 onwards, we will be contacting some of our customers to collect information related to their tax status. Further information on Common Reporting Standard can be found on the OECD portal www.oecd.org.
Should you have any queries related to your personal tax matters, we suggest that you consult a professional tax advisor, as BOK International Bahrain is not authorized to provide you with any tax advice.
BOK International and parent’s Global Intermediary Identification Numbers (GIINs):
GIIN No: LH8WO.00000.LE.729