The stakes are high in combating global financial crime.
Although concealing illegally obtained assets has been practised for millennia, over time, it has become increasingly complex, as criminals have adopted different techniques to avoid detection.
In response, financial regulations and legislations have evolved significantly – in an effort to stay ahead of the game, and effectively thwart financial crimes.
On the Front-Line
Today, anti-money laundering and counter financing terrorism laws are complex in nature – leaving financial institutions and service entities with a multitude of responsibilities and obligations, as part of our nationwide defence efforts.
All businesses that are subject to this legislation must adopt a company-wide compliance programme.
This programme, which is key to the organisations’ success in curbing financial crime, is designed to proactively identify, report, and prevent potential violations. It should be tailored to the specific needs, operations, regulatory environment, risk profile, and industry, of the company at hand.
Key characteristics of an effective compliance programme include (but are not limited to): policies and procedures on documentation and monitoring; action plans for proactively preventing, detecting, and reporting suspicious activity; anti-retaliation policies; periodic internal reviews and updates; annual training for personnel; and auditing and enforcement practices.
Other Methods of Defense
It is also critical that financial institutions and reporting entities implement the following, in order to establish and maintain compliance with AML/CFT(CTF) legislation:
AML Due Diligence Procedures: Customer Due Diligence (CDD) – the process of collecting pertinent customer information, to evaluate ML/TF risks, plays a crucial role in mitigating the adverse effects of criminal economic activity, and instead promoting integrity and stability in our financial system.
Active Suspicious Activity Reporting: When suspicious activity comes to light, the organisation at hand should generate a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR), for analysis by the FIU.
Continuous Monitoring and Enforcement: an important part of AML compliance is consistent maintenance of effective monitoring and enforcement policies, through internal or independent audits, for example.
We Can Help
With a wealth of AML compliance and defence behind us, we are here to help businesses throughout the country meet their AML/CFT(CTF) obligations. If you are a Reporting Entity, we can:
- Help you develop an effective AML Compliance Programme
- Provide legal advice on your AML Due Diligence, or the effectiveness of your internal controls
- Review and provide advice on your Suspicious Activity Reports
- Guide you through your reporting obligations
Get in touch with our friendly team of professionals today.