This article appears as the "Discussion of the month" topic in AML News and Updates Newsletter - August 2023 edition which can be found here.
One of the most important but challenging tasks of AML professionals is to stay updated with the latest regulatory developments and emerging trends in financial crimes.
This task is additional to their other duties where AML officers are required to :
👉 Design and update the organization's internal policies, measures, procedures, and controls, including the AML manual.
👉 Monitor the effective implementation of the policies, measures, procedures, and controls.
👉 Provide guidance to employees where shortcomings are identified.
👉 Receive and evaluate Internal suspicious reports from the employees.
👉 Report suspicious transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
👉 Perform risk assessments.
👉 Perform reporting to the regulator and the Board of Directors.
👉 ..and much more
While there is no simple route to stay ahead, AML professionals acknowledge that staying up to date with regulatory developments, trends, and new typologies for money laundering and other financial crime is critical to ensure the efficiency of their AML program and controls in mitigating associated risks.
So, how can AML professionals effectively remain well-informed within this rapidly evolving financial crime landscape?
Stay Informed with these essential resources:
1️⃣ Financial Action Task Force (FATF): The number one source for staying up to date with financial crime trends and developments globally. The FATF, is an intergovernmental organization that sets global standards for AML and counter-terrorism financing (CTF). They publish reports, guidelines, and updates on AML regulations worldwide.
2️⃣ Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN): A bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, FinCEN provides resources on AML regulations and compliance guidance.
3️⃣ European Banking Authority (EBA): The EBA's website offers information on AML regulations applicable to financial institutions within the European Union (EU). However, since the guidelines are based on the FATF standards, entities outside the EU may also find some useful information there.
4️⃣ IMOLIN by UNODC: IMOLIN is an internet-based network assisting governments, organizations, and individuals in the fight against money laundering. It was developed in cooperation with major leading AML organizations and provides valuable information on global efforts to fight financial crime.
5️⃣ Your regulator's website: Check your country or region's regulatory authority website for anti-money laundering (AML) compliance. Many regulatory bodies have dedicated sections for AML, where they publish the latest guidelines, updates, and announcements. Consider signing up for email alerts or newsletters from the regulator to receive timely notifications on any changes or developments in AML regulations specific to your jurisdiction.
6️⃣ The website of your national Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU): Check your country's FIU website for reports, guidance, and information on AML trends and developments. Staying informed about the FIU's publications can provide valuable insights into the AML landscape and help you comply with reporting requirements. Consider signing up for alerts.
7️⃣ Public Consultations and Comment Periods: Participate in public consultations and comment periods initiated by regulatory bodies. This allows you to provide feedback on proposed changes to AML regulations and stay informed about upcoming amendments.
8️⃣ Social Media: Although not an official source of information, you can get a lot of insights when following AML experts, compliance professionals, regulatory bodies, and industry influencers on social media platforms. Leverage LinkedIn where there is a wealth of information shared by AML experts.
9️⃣ Industry Blogs and Websites: Follow reputable AML compliance blogs, websites, and online publications. These sources often analyze and interpret regulatory developments, making it easier to understand their implications. I personally use the following news aggregator websites: www.thelaundrynews.com and ciphercrime.com.
🔟 Subscribe to Newsletters: Some are free, and some are paid. Look around and see what works for you. One of my favorite free newsletters is Money Laundering Techniques by Baptiste 🕵 Forestier - CAMS.
1️⃣1️⃣ Attend Webinars and Workshops: Participate in free or paid webinars, workshops, and conferences on AML compliance. These events offer insights from subject matter experts and regulators, giving AML officers a deeper understanding of the latest trends and regulatory priorities.
Create a system to organize the information you gather. Bookmark relevant websites, save important emails and documents and create folders for specific topics. This ensures easy access to the information you need when required.
Oh! And remember to keep the employees of the organization up to date too!