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Banks expected to screen customers before opening account


Al-Rajhi Bank chief compliance officer V. Maslamani (center) flanked by the sponsors at the signing for the 10th International Conference on Financial Crime and Terrorism Finance.

Al-Rajhi Bank chief compliance officer V. Maslamani (center) flanked by the sponsors at the signing for the 10th International Conference on Financial Crime and Terrorism Finance.

KUALA LUMPUR: Banks in Malaysia are expected to conduct a screening prior to on-boarding customers with banks to rely on an international database and an internal grey list to conduct such screenings.

This will be the minimum regulatory standard expected of the banks prior to opening an account for a customer, said Al-Rajhi Bank chief compliance officer, V Maslamani (pic).

He also pointed out that the 1MDB case, which had become a taboo word, could be a good case study where “we will have a prognosis to develop a robust system to protect us from a repeat of such a catastrophic event,” Maslamani told a press conference after the sponsorship signing for the 10th International Conference on Financial Crime and Terrorism Financing (IFCTF) 2018 yesterday.

Maslamani, who is also the IFCTF organising chairman and the chairman of the Compliance Officers’ Networking Group (CONG), stated that the latest international survey estimates that only about 1% of the laundered proceeds are in fact confiscated.

The survey, which was carried out in Europe with around 2,373 companies, could give an estimate of the financial laundering situation in Malaysia, he added. Malaysia, as a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), is expected to meet international standards on curbing money laundering and terrorism financing.

The National Co-ordinating Council for Money Laundering consisting various enforcement bodies in the country are working together to ensure the framework of financial crime enforcement is robust and serves the nation well in managing efforts to combat money laundering cases, he added.

Maslamani said the efforts to curb financial crime and terrorism financing remained a challenge for the financial institutions, enforcement agencies, regulators and the public at large “as long as the gullibility and greediness exist in our society.”

As banks remains the ‘first line of defence’ they are expected to emplace adequate transactions monitoring processes to pick-out suspicious transactions to be reported for necessary enforcement action, he added.

Also, the task is becoming complex with increasing number of transactions, banks embrace innovation such as AI (artificial intelligence) to keep the cost of transaction monitoring, said Maslamani.

Meanwhile, the 10th IFCTF will be held starting Oct 30 to Oct 31 in Kuala Lumpur with the theme, “The Rising Voice of Compliance - Towards Greater Governance and Transparency”.

The international conference will reveal the latest trends and how to combat it through robust compliance procedures.

Bank Negara governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus will deliver a keynote address on “Reshaping Malaysia’s Future - Setting the goal for greater governance and transparency” at the conference.

Prominent speakers from Bank Negara, the Royal Malaysian Police, CyberSecurity Malaysia, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Department of Justice and other prominent experts will cover topics ranging from compliance measures for terrorism financing, crpytocurrencies, cyber security as well as the menace of the dark and deep web. For the first time, the IFCTF will also be hosting a half-day masterclass “360 degrees on Terrorism Financing” on October 29.

IFCTF is jointly organised by Asian Institute of Finance and CONG and fully supported by Bank Negara and Securities Commission.

To register for IFCTF 2018, visit www.aif.org.my/ifctf2018

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