Check terrorism finance controls linked to Afghanistan, UK watchdog tells firms

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FILE PHOTO: A view of The Bank of England and the City of London financial district in London, Britain

LONDON (Reuters) -Financial firms should have appropriate controls to counter the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing following the change of power in Afghanistan, Britain's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on Tuesday.

Taliban fighters took control of the airport in Kabul on Tuesday after the withdrawal of the last U.S. troops, marking the end of a 20-year war.

"Developments in Afghanistan have highlighted the continuing need for robust systems and controls that respond to changing risks," the FCA said in a statement.

"Firms should be aware of the possible impact these events may have on patterns of financial activity when they assess risks related to particular customers and flows of funds."

Firms regulated by the FCA should ensure they appropriately monitor and assess transactions to Afghanistan to mitigate the risks of their firm being exploited to launder money or finance terrorism, the watchdog said.

Sanctions are already in place in respect of Afghanistan and firms should continue to screen against the UK sanctions list in their dealings with the country, the FCA said.

(Reporting by Huw JonesEditing by Mark Potter)

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