Since its inception, the Wolfsberg Group has developed frameworks and guidance for the management of financial crime risks and arguably few have had as big an impact as the Wolfsberg AML Questionnaire. Alan Ketley is the Chair of the Wolfsberg Group’s Standing Committee on the CBDDQ and sat down with Financial Crime News to explain the genesis to its publication and provide an update on progress. Alan Ketley is the Head of Global AML Advisory at MUFG Bank based in New York.
FCN: When was the first correspondent banking due diligence questionnaire published by the Wolfsberg Group?
AK: It was first published in 2004 and was the first attempt to standardise the Correspondent Banking due diligence processes. The questionnaire was originally designed to be used for correspondent banking (using Wolfsberg’s definition) relationships but over time came to be used far beyond its original purpose and by/for various types of financial institutions.
On a recent visit to South Africa, Financial Crime News was delighted to meet with Nic Swingler Head Financial Crime Compliance at Absa Group Limited, who in an interview discussed the fight against financial crime on the African continent and in South Africa in particular.
FCN: How did you come into your current role?
NS: I am not a Financial Crime “lifer” and this role was not really part of my early career planning! Previously I was the COO for our Corporate & Investment Bank. The front line experience I gained over many years as well as direct exposure to products, operations, technology platforms and data were amongst the key attributes required to enable and deliver a high quality risk management capability across Financial Crime Compliance.
FCN: As Founder and Deputy Chair of the MENA Financial Crime Compliance Group (MENA FCCG), how did the Group get started?
MM: The MENA FCCG is an industry-driven, voluntary initiative, currently consisting of 13 leading financial institutions from nine MENA countries. It seeks to bring collective action in the fight against money laundering and terrorist finance in the region. Both the Union of Arab Banks (UAB) and Refinitiv are strategic partners with UAB’s Secretary General, Mr.
“Addressing the Remittance Challenge – by providing greater access to Banking services through limited purpose accounts.”
With the FSB amongst others concerned about access to banking services for Remittances, and with the recent announcement from Facebook and others that Libra may be an answer, Aamir Hanif assesses these issues and proposes a possible alternative in this article called “Addressing the Remittance Challenge – by providing greater access to Banking services through limited purpose accounts.”
In many emerging economies, remittance payments are not simply a financial service; they are a financial lifeline. For millions of families who rely on remittances for large portions of their day-to- day costs, they are a critical source of income. For local businesses, flows from the many millions of migrant workers underpin domestic consumption.
In this Interview with the Black Mamba’s Anti Poaching Unit. Qolile Matebula and Alice Bromage sat down with Financial Crime News to discuss anti poaching in South Africa and their work in protecting some of the world’s most endangered wildlife. This was just ahead of a presentation to FCC leaders from 30 Banks from 13 Different African Countries discussing the Illegal Wildlife Trade as a part of Standard Chartered Banks’ Regional African Correspondent Banking Academy in Johannesburg.
FCN: Who and what are the Black Mambas?
AB/QM: The Black Mambas were founded in 2013 by Craig Spencer, the head warden of the 52,000 hectare Balule Nature Reserve as part of the Greater Krüger National Park, in South Africa, and are named after a very poisonous snake, to protect the animals from poachers.
After an impressive year for FATF, under the US Presidency, which signed off last month, and concluded with the Florida Plenary, the Chinese Presidency now has the lead and has already signalled both an intention to continue with important existing FATF priorities, but are also signalling the next year will include something different, by including the illegal wildlife trade as an additional new priority.
The FATF announcement is significant, bearing in mind the importance China plays in the illegal wildlife trade as a major destination country for all manner of endangered animals, but this is not just about China, which had taken significant action over the last few years, including banning ivory, but about the entire FATF membership and all Countries subject to implementing FATF standards.
As promised Malcolm Wright provides an update to Financial Crime News on the Crypto Industry’s response to the challenge laid down by FATF to adopt wire transfer standards, in this follow on from his June piece “Crypto asks for more Effective Regulation,” and after the v20 Summit held last week.
On 28 and 29 June 2019, the crypto industry met in Osaka, Japan on the sidelines of the G20 to discuss how it would find an appropriate response to the newly released FATF Recommendations for AML governance of the crypto industry. The discussion focussed on how the industry could implement a solution to fulfil wire transfer requirements that exist already in the traditional banking sector. Helpfully, just one week earlier the FATF released Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach to Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers that provided clarification and direction for Virtual Asset Service Providers, or VASPs as well as countries and the traditional financial sector.
The Future of Financial Intelligence Sharing – Interview with Nick J Maxwell, The Head of the Future of Financial Intelligence Sharing (FFIS) research programme with the RUSI Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, reveals the progress made and what’s still left to do in an interview with Financial Crime News.
FCN: What is the Future of Financial Intelligence Sharing (FFIS) research programme? And when and why did you get involved?
NM: FFIS is a research and international knowledge exchange programme specifically focused on the role of public–private information-sharing to improve AML/CTF outcomes. We’ve published independent comparative research and hosted scores of workshops around the world to better understand the opportunities and challenges related to the rise of public–private financial information-sharing partnerships (FISPs) in tackling financial crime.
FCC Leaders Interview: Assurance & Testing – An Interview with Natalie Merrylees
Financial Crime News sat down with Natalie Merrylees to discuss her thoughts on the purpose, challenges, opportunities and the future of Assurance, as well as the importance of trying to identify “hotspots. weak spots and blindspots,” the use of technology, regulatory expectations and much more besides.
FCN: What is the purpose of Assurance?
NM: Assurance provides a semi independent spotlight to reconfirm whatever needs to stay working, is working, or alternatively, is a whistle to gain attention when problems are Identified or aren’t being fixed. In many organisations right now, this role is one of oversight of the firm’s policies and procedures, working to a defined framework and method, and taking its baseline data from the Firms own risk assessment activity
FCN: What do you mean by Semi-Independent
NM: By Semi Independent I mean, we are part of the second line of defence that provides a programme of ongoing monitoring and testing of both the business’s financial crime controls, some of which are carried out of course in the second line.
Human Trafficking is a global problem, effecting the lives of millions of people. Traffickers deceive women, men and children from all corners of the world and force them into exploitative situations every day. Whilst the best known form of human trafficking is for the purpose of sexual exploitation, hundreds of thousands of victims are trafficked for the purposes of forced labour, domestic servitude, child begging or the removal of their organs.
In this interview, Neil Giles explains to Financial Crime News, why as programme manager of the Traffik Analysis Hub it has the potential to be a real game-changer in the fight against modern slavery and how information sharing, technology and collaboration are at the heart of this initiative.
FCN: How big is the problem of Human Trafficking?