TFS

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. 

Webinar: Effective Implementation of Targeted Financial Sanctions in Zambia

Course Duration: 72 minutes
Course Points: 70

Fintelekt Advisory Services and the Financial Intelligence Centre, Zambia hosted a webinar on Effective Implementation of Targeted Financial Sanctions on May 20, 2021.

The webinar was moderated by Shirish Pathak, Managing Director, Fintelekt Advisory Services and the speakers were Diphat Tembo, Director – Compliance and Prevention Department, Financial Intelligence Centre, Zambia, Nicholas W. Turner, Of Counsel, Steptoe & Johnson and Brent Estrella, Group Head & Chief Compliance Officer, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation.

The webinar was designed as an educational and awareness generation initiative for reporting entities in Zambia. In order to comply with, and effectively implement the domestic regulations around targeted financial sanctions, as well as help the country to stay compliant with international standards, reporting entities in Zambia must stay current on financial sanctions and be able to understand the impact of these sanctions to their present compliance program.

The webinar speakers brought the following issues to the fore:

– Improving awareness on the obligations around targeted financial sanctions in Zambia
– Understanding the challenges faced by reporting entities in implementing the requirements on targeted financial sanctions
– Best practices around screening
– The importance of employee training to detect potential offences
– How reporting entities are misused and what type of services or products are most vulnerable for the purpose of the potential breach, non-implementation or evasion of targeted financial sanctions
– Examples of indicators to identify risks linked to terrorism and proliferation financing

Participants from Zambia who attended this webinar live are entitled to receive a participation certificate. If you have already registered on Fintelekt Academy, the certificate will be sent to your registered email id on or before Friday, May 28, 2021.

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