Posted in Financial Crime

CITES Meets in Geneva – Wildlife at Risk

Governments, Trade Associations and NGO’s are meeting to talk trade and conservation with concerns around Elephant Ivory, Rhino Horn and the fate of the Mako Shark being high on the agenda at a CITES Wildlife Conference in Geneva. In all more than 50 proposals have been tabled for discussion, which include proposals submitted on not only Elephants, Rhino’s and Sharks but also on Pangolin’s, Big Cats and Giraffes. 

As concern for the future of the wildlife on our planet increases, the international body tasked with regulating trade in endangered species is once again gathered for its 18th Conference of the Parties (COP) in Geneva being held between the 17-28th August, 2019. Originally slated for May 2019 in Sri Lanka, it was switched after the Easter terrorist attacks in March that killed more than 250.

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Posted in Financial Crime

Interview with Sarah Runge

In this Interview, Sarah Runge, formerly of the US Treasury Department, and now with Credit Suisse talks to Financial Crime News, including on how she rates the US Presidency (of FATF), challenges faced in Europe (and elsewhere), AML Reform and her optimism for the future.

FCN – What are you doing now – The fighting financial crime community knows you best in your former roles in the US Government so now you are at Credit Suisse, what does that involve?

SR: I am in a newly created role which dually reports to the Global Head of FCC and Global Head of Regulatory Affairs.  The function is responsible for developing and implementing a centralized and coordinated view of FCC regulatory engagements, developing a consistent communication approach for our interactions with regulators, building a global inventory of relevant FCC regulations, guidance, enforcement actions & industry developments, and ensuring Credit Suisse is engaged in law enforcement and intelligence innovation opportunities.

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Posted in Financial Crime Fraud

Interview with Graham Hooper OBE

In this Interview, Financial Crime News caught up with Graham Hooper, just after the announcement that he had been awarded an OBE for his services to fighting financial crime. No one deserves such an honour more than Graeme. Graeme talks about what he’s doing now, his role in helping to drive change via Public Private Partnerships, the Convergence of Fraud and Financial Crime, challenges for Heads of FCC as well as his one wish for the future in this space. 

Graham Hooper has over 35 years experience of developing and implementing security and financial crime prevention strategies in both public and private sectors. He retired from Lloyds Banking Group in December 2017 where he was Financial Crime Risk Director and Deputy Group MLRO.

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Posted in Financial Crime News Sanctions

Interview with the Sentry’s Joshua White and Megha Swamy

In this Interview The Sentry’s Policy & Analysis Director  Joshua White and Deputy Megha Swamy, answer questions posed by Financial Crime News on the work of the Sentry, its aims, achievements and what FI’s can do to help and how the Sentry can help them.

FCN: What is the Sentry and what’s its purpose?

JW/MS: The Sentry is an investigative and policy team that tracks the financing of conflict in East and Central Africa. We follow the dirty money connected to African war criminals and transnational war profiteers and seek to shut those benefiting from violence out of the international financial system. We were co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast and launched in 2016. We currently focus on East and Central Africa, specifically South Sudan, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the Central African Republic.

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Posted in Financial Crime

Interview with Alan Ketley on the journey leading the Wolfsberg CBDDQ

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.

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Posted in Financial Crime

Interview with Absa’s Nic Swingler

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. 

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Posted in Financial Crime

Interview with Michael Matossian on the MENA Financial Crime Compliance Group

in this Interview Michael Matossian, the founder and deputy chair of the MENA Financial Crime Compliance Group (MENA FCCG), sat down with Financial Crime News to discuss, amongst other things, why the MENA FCCG was established, what its been doing and what its priorities are. 

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.

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Posted in Financial Crime

Modernising the Fight against Financial Crime by focussing on Effectiveness

Prepared Remarks from a Key note speech by John Cusack, Co Chair of the Wolfsberg Group at ACAMS Europe in Berlin in June 2019 on “Modernising the Fight against Financial Crime through a focus on effectiveness.”

The Wolfsberg Group is an association of 13 global Banks, which aims to develop frameworks and guidance for the management of financial crime risks, particularly with respect to Know Your Customer, Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing policies. In essence we are about 3 things: Standards, engagement and benchmarking.

Recent priorities for the Group have culminated in work that has recently come to fruition, in particular, we have published a revised enhanced correspondent banking due diligence questionnaire which is becoming the de facto standard for Correspondent Banking Due Diligence.

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Posted in Financial Crime

Addressing the Remittance Challenge – By Aamir Hanif

“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.

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Posted in Financial Crime

Interview with the Black Mambas Anti Poaching Unit

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.

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