covid19

Conversations: Shawki Ahwash, North Africa Commercial Bank

Course Duration: 23 minutes
Course Points: 20

This week Fridays with Fintelekt hosted by Shirish Pathak, Managing Director, Fintelekt features Shawki Ahwash, Head of AML/CFT & Sanctions Division, North Africa Commercial Bank from Beirut, Lebanon.

A career banker, Shawki enjoys sharing the knowledge that he has gained with others through training and teaching. He feels that AML/CFT is a dynamic and evolving field and technology has changed everything about it – be it onboarding, profiling or monitoring of customers and transactions.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, banks have had to take proactive measures to combat fraud and cybercrime and have had to sensitize their clients. The need of the hour is to upgrade and re-skill front-line staff that is dealing directly with the customer.

For AML/CFT to become more effective, he recommends that banks and financial institutions conduct a separate risk assessment for sanctions and AML, ascertain the quality of data to reduce false positives and move away from filing defensive STRs. High quality STRs which provide the underlying predicate offence, an elaborate narrative, profile of clients and the circumstances of the transaction to the extent possible will contribute to the regulator’s database and aid the understanding of newer trends and typologies.

On the new AML law in the UAE, Shawki thinks that many Arab or GCC countries may copy some of the steps – around screening, targeted financial sanctions, DNFBPs, etc. – to fortify their regulatory environment on anti-financial crime.

For many regional trends and insights on crypto, financial inclusion, screening, and others, tune in to the entire episode. 

Conversations: Tim Holt and Richard Wood, Agencia

Course Duration: 49 minutes
Course Points: 45

In this video from the Fridays with Fintelekt series, Shirish Pathak, Managing Director, Fintelekt Advisory Services is in conversation with Richard Wood, Director – Justice, Policing and Security and Tim Holt, Director of Serious Crime from Agencia. The conversation covers financial crime and investigation space. The speakers talk about priority areas for banks and other financial institutions to make their AML/CFT frameworks more effective, ways to improve quality of STR reporting, gaps in the investigations system and policing from an AML point of view.

They talk about expectations of law enforcement or intelligence agencies from banks and financial institutions, and also share recommendations to regulators and banking sector to understand better and identify and mitigate risks associated with Covid-19, benefits of public-private partnership and information sharing, low asset recovery and confiscation because of inadequate legislation and lacunae in training and awareness of AML and CFT.

Conversations: Dawne Spicer, Caribbean Financial Action Task Force

Course Duration: 27 minutes
Course Points: 25

In this video from the Fridays with Fintelekt series, Shirish Pathak, Managing Director, Fintelekt Advisory Services is in conversation with Dawne Spicer, Executive Director, Caribbean Financial Action Task Force. Dawne talks about AML/CFT compliance challenges faced by CFATF members and advantages of being part of smaller jurisdictions, measures taken by Caribbean countries to improve their AML/CFT regulation and supervision, cryptocurrency regulations and evolving ecosystem, risks emerging as a result of Covid-19 pandemic in the Caribbean region, the Liechtenstein Initiative and banking perception of human trafficking and modern slavery as an AML/CFT risk and areas of co-operation that might result in consistency in AML framework across the globe.

Conversations: Christian Kaunert, International Centre for Policing and Security

Course Duration: 18 minutes
Course Points: 15

In this video from the Fridays with Fintelekt series, Shirish Pathak, Managing Director, Fintelekt Advisory Services is in conversation with Dr. Christian Kaunert, Professor of Policing and Security & Director of International Centre for Policing and Security & Jean Monnet Director at University of South Wales. Christian talks about curbing terrorism, international co-operation around countering terrorism and commonalities in the counter terrorism approaches across various geographies, success of economic sanctions to combat terrorist, role of international organizations, like the FATF, in influencing country’s policies and procedures or setting standards and their implementation by organizations, emerging typologies of terrorism financing as a result of Covid-19 pandemic and role of banks and other financial institutions in fighting terrorism.

Conversations: M C Ponnanna, Al Jazeera Exchange

Course Duration: 30 minutes
Course Points: 25

In this video from the Fridays with Fintelekt series, Shirish Pathak, Managing Director, Fintelekt Advisory Services is in conversation with M C Ponnanna, Head of AML/CFT and Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO), Al Jazeera Exchange. The conversation centered around key changes brought in by the new AML Law implemented by Qatar Central Bank, current stand of cryptocurrencies in Qatar, risks associated with currency exchange houses, impact of Covid-19 on operations, latest trends in technology implementation in the area of AML/CFT Compliance, and factors that should be considered while implementing a new technology.

Conversations: Philip Hunkin, Director – Financial Intelligence Unit, Isle of Man

Course Duration: 23 minutes
Course Points: 20

In this video from the Fridays with Fintelekt series, Shirish Pathak, Managing Director, Fintelekt Advisory Services is in conversation with Philip Hunkin, Director – Financial Intelligence Unit, Isle of Man on various experiences around financial crime risk assessment, imposing penalties, steps to strengthen beneficial ownership controls, public private partnerships and expectations from reporting entities in the Isle of Man.

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