KUALA LUMPUR: Financial institutions, enforcement agencies, and regulators must embark on a collective journey that transcends borders, sectors, and ideologies to establish stringent anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) protocols to reinvent trust in the context of financial crime and terrorism financing, said the Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers (AICB).
Its chairman, Tan Sri Azman Hashim, said that trust among nations is also essential for sharing intelligence, collaborating on investigations, and harmonising AML and CTF regulations.
"International cooperation is paramount. By reinforcing trust between countries, we create a united front against the global scourge of terrorism financing.
"Governments must lead by example, prioritising integrity, transparency, and accountability in their policies and practices.
"This upholds trust in the government while demonstrating commitment to the safety and security of the nation,” he said in his welcoming remarks at the 13th International Conference on Financial Crime and Terrorism Financing (IFCTF).
Azman said technological advancements also play a pivotal role in trust reinvention.
"Innovations such as blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics are powerful tools that could be harnessed to identify patterns indicative of financial crime, new fraud, and scams and provide insights into suspicious activities, all of which are key in the fight against financial crime and terrorism financing,” he said.
Azman said these new technologies have also given scam operators greater scope to operate, which is reflected in the tremendous rise in scams, leaving the public highly vulnerable.
Therefore, the AICB chairman stressed that continuous awareness and education are necessary in today’s rapidly evolving global financial landscape.
"In conclusion, trust reinvention is the beacon of hope that guides us towards a sustainable, stable, and secure nation. In combatting financial crime and terrorism financing, trust is the bedrock upon which our defence relies.
"By nurturing a culture of integrity, transparency, and accountability, we not only protect our financial systems but also safeguard our nation and its people from threats that seek to undermine its stability and growth,” he said.
Restoring and reinventing trust
BNM Governor Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour acknowledged the IFCTF as a critical platform for experts to discuss important financial crime issues.
"What we do is important, but the how is often just as important. Dealing with financial crimes demands integrity, the key to preserving public confidence and trust in the financial system.
"We need to restore, or rather reinvent, trust. But this cannot be done by anyone alone. All of us will need to play our part by upholding the principles of integrity, transparency, and accountability, which will go a long way in restoring trust,” he said in his opening address.
Meanwhile, CONG chairman Faradina Ghouse said the IFCTF is the single largest platform in Malaysia that connects compliance, audit, risk, finance, and legal professionals to learn from experts in combatting financial crime and terrorism financing.
She said the conference focused on using sophisticated technology capabilities and structured methodology to strengthen anti-corruption efforts.
"We hope participants will be able to elevate their practices to serve customers better with the highest level of integrity and protect their organisations from the threat of financial crime,” she said.
At the event, the Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) and the Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM) also launched the refreshed #JanganKenaScam National Scam Awareness Campaign.
The 13th IFCTF themed "Trust Reinvented: Building a Sustainable Culture of Integrity, Transparency and Accountability”, is jointly organised by the Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers (AICB) and its Compliance Officers’ Networking Group (CONG), with the support of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Securities Commission Malaysia, and Labuan Financial Services Authority.
Over 50 leading global and regional financial crime experts convened to share their knowledge, experience, and insights on disrupting proliferation financing, risk and threats around digital banks, use of artificial intelligence in AML prevention and detection, cryptocurrency and cybercrime, and regional and international cooperation mechanisms in combatting transnational crime, among other issues.
The conference attracted over 1,000 delegates from local and international financial institutions. - Bernama