OIB Head of Compliance Takes Part at CBK Symposium in Kuwait

Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Symposium was recently held in ‎Kuwait under the p Top CBK officials, bankers and financial sector experts participated. The event invited ‎regional and international speakers sharing the latest tools and techniques in the field of anti-money ‎laundering and combating terrorist financing.

Mr. Hany Abou-El-Fotouh, Assistant General Manager and Head of Compliance, Oman International Bank ‎‎(OIB) participated in the symposium. Speaking on OIB's presence at the event, he remarked 'I was thrilled to ‎be invited to make a presentation about 'Implementing a risk-based approach to anti-money laundering ‎compliance'. Through this opportunity, I have explained the elements and the implications and opportunities ‎of the risk-based approach'.

Abou-El-Fotouh defined the concept of risk-based approach as 'identification and assessment of the money ‎laundering risks that banks face, given their particular customer, product, services and geographic profile, ‎and then applying measures to manage and mitigate these risks'.

He gave explanation of the key components of anti-money laundering (AML) program. 'An effective AML ‎program must encompass sound AML governance that enforces designating a compliance officer of suitable ‎seniority and independence, setting the bank's AML strategy, implementing risk-based methodology and ‎most importantly demonstrating senior management commitment.

The compliance program must include ‎implementation of effective AML policies and procedures covering all business lines and operations in ‎addition to procedures for monitoring transactions, record keeping, and reporting suspicious activities to the ‎competent authorities'. He further added 'promoting the culture that supports compliance and implementing ‎bank-wide staff training in respect of money laundering deterrence is crucial to the success of a robust AML ‎compliance program. Needless to mention, the AML compliance program must be subject to independent ‎testing and evaluation in order to ascertain its effectiveness'.

While addressing the importance of adopting risk-based approach, Mr. Abou-El-Fotouh remarked 'ignoring ‎risk-based approach means failure to identify elements of the business that pose the greatest risk and failure ‎to direct resources to mitigate them'.

Abou-El-Fotouh concluded 'at OIB compliance rules are embedded within the Bank's policies and ‎procedures. The Bank's compliance policy requires that all operations of the Bank should be carried out at ‎all times having regard to the highest ethical standards and in full compliance with all applicable laws and ‎regulations'.atronage of the Central Bank of Kuwait.‎

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