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Malaysia lowers cash transaction threshold in fight against dirty money

Hard-cash circulation has ballooned by 150% in the past decade.

Malaysia will lower the cash threshold reporting requirement as the country intensifies the crackdown against money laundering activity, central bank governor Nor Shamsiah Yunus said at an international conference on financial crime and terrorism financing.

Commercial banks in Malaysia, who were previously, required to disclose cash transactions exceeding RM50,000 ($11,900) will be subject to new reporting thresholds of RM25,000 ($5,981) effective January 1, 2019.

“When we compare Malaysia with other countries, our current threshold is too high,” she explained.

Malaysia has an index score of 6.1 in the Basel Anti-Money Laundering Index 2017 which puts it level of risk to money laundering and terrorist financing higher than that of Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, South Korea and Japan.

“We do not anticipate any impact in terms of economic activity but an increase in effectiveness in taming the black economy that is still heavily reliant on cash transactions,” she added as hard-cash circulation has increased by around 150% over the past ten years.


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