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: Dr David Utzke, Cryptoeconomics & DLT Expert

Course Duration: 33 minutes
Course Points: 30

In this episode of Fridays with Fintelekt, join in for a unique insight into the world of crypto as Shirish Pathak, Managing Director, Fintelekt Advisory Services hosts Dr. David Utzke, Associate Professor at University of Advancing Technology & U.S. Treasury IRS CID Cybercrimes Unit.

Speaking from years of research and experience in distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain, David provides a historical perspective to the development of cryptocurrencies, clarifies many of the prevailing misconceptions, explains the challenges in regulating the space, and provides his take on the future of money.

Understanding the technology, he says, is the key to staying ahead of the criminals, whether you are a consumer, a financial institution, an investor or a regulator.

Expert Speak: Malcolm Wright, 100x Group

Course Duration: 31 minutes
Course Points: 30

Malcolm Wright, Chief Compliance Officer, 100x Group & Advisory Council Chair, Global Digital Finance talked about Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers. He cleared many myths surrounding cryptocurrencies and talked about the evolution of cryptocurrencies. He shared recommendations for Supervisors of cryptocurrencies and benefits to ‘right-sized’ regulatory oversight in this industry.

This presentation was part of the AMLC-Fintelekt AML/CTF Summit Philippines 2020, conducted virtually from November 23rd – 27th, 2020.

Conversations: Claire Wilson, Consultant and Chairperson, HKICPA Disciplinary Panel

Course Duration: 19 minutes
Course Points: 15

In this video from the Fridays with Fintelekt series, Shirish Pathak, Managing Director, Fintelekt Advisory Services is in conversation with Claire Wilson, Independent Consultant and Chairperson, HKICPA Disciplinary Panel. The focus of the discussion is cryptocurrencies and virtual assets. Claire speaks about her extensive research on cryptocurrencies from an economic, technology and legal perspective, the impact of large companies investing in Bitcoin on the cryptocurrency ecosystem, banning cryptocurrencies and its impact, advice to governments on the fence that are neither banning nor allowing crypto trading and advice to compliance professionals on how to protect their financial institutions from risks associated with cryptocurrencies.

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.

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