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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