AML & Financial Crime in the Middle East Seminar

Caleb Hawkins 26.07.2016

Thank you to everyone who attended our highly anticipated AML & Financial Crime Seminar, with guest speaker Andrew Fleming last Thursday, 21st July.

The event was a great success with a number of senior people within AML attending, across different industries.

The seminar began with guests arriving from 5:45 PM, where we welcomed them with drinks and nibbles. We then introduced Andrew to the stage, who gave a great insight into current trends within AML, particularly focusing on AML & Financial Crime in the Middle East. Andrew told some interesting stories, including those of the “pretty camel” and “prize breeding goat”. 

After around an hour on the microphone, Andrew opened up to the floor for questions and discussion. We finished off the night with a glass or two of wine whilst the attendees networked and discussed the topic.  Safe to say, it was a good night had by all.

Please see below an overview as to what was considered on the night, along with the powerpoint slides for your viewing. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact either myself or Andrew Fleming directly.

Middle Eastern Financial Crime – The Key Elements

When conducting business in a new region it is important to have an in-depth understanding of how business actually works within that particular country or region to ensure that we are not caught out by what may actually be common business practices. In a similar vein, we also need to fully understand the potential threats that we may be exposed to, for example;

  1. Sanctions,
  2. Terrorist financing,
  3. Bribery and corruption,

We must ensure that we have the right staff, training, governance and control structures in place to effectively manage them.

This means that we need a strong leadership team, a clear strategy and the right structure and systems in place to support the company’s strategy. The leadership/management team in turn needs the right staff with the appropriate skills and shared values to ensure that the company’s vision is achieved.

As part of this process we need effective metrics, which are country or region specific to ensure that we are generating the right information/intelligence for our business. Specifically we need to understand Key Risk/Key Performance Indicators and from a governance and control perspective we need clearly defined processes, including feedback loops and data analytic programmes which allow us to manage false positive alerts, suspected SARs, actual SARS generated and conversion rates while managing key stakeholders and business users expectations.

All of which must fall within the company’s strategy, risk appetite and appropriate policies for example AML or sanctions etc.

To achieve this we need to do the following as a minimum;

  • Research the country and understand common business practises
  • Understand the potential threats that we may be exposed to.
  • Design a clear strategy and put in place structures and systems that support that strategy and the companies risk appetite.
  • Source staff with the appropriate skills and shared values – SME’s, RMs and provide role appropriate training.
  • Implement effective metrics, which are country or region specific to ensure that we are generating the right information/intelligence for our business.
  • Understand Key Risk/Key Performance Indicators.
  • Implement clearly defined processes, such as feedback loops and data analytic, programmes which allow you to manage false positive alerts, suspected SARs, SARS generated and conversion rates.
  • Conduct vertical views on key policies such as AML or sanctions to ensure that procedures are in line with those policies and meet out risk appetite.

 

Please click here to access the powerpoint slides from the evening. If you have any questions for Andrew, please connect with him on LinkedIn.

Caleb Hawkins's picture
Manager | Compliance Temporary Recruitment
chawkins@morganmckinley.co.uk