GIABA to train financial institutions on revised anti-money laundering standards

The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) will organize a regional training for financial and regulatory institutions on the revised FATF Recommendations. The workshop will hold on 28-29 August 2013 at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, Nigeria.

In February 2012, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) adopted the revised FATF 40 Recommendations, which place enormous obligations on financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses and professionals (DNFBPs). The revised standards place premium on the adoption of risk-based approach to AML/CFT compliance function, having been designed to assist financial institutions not only to implement AML/CFT measures on a risk-sensitive basis, but also to ensure prioritization of actions in addressing issues relating to Customer Due Diligence, Record Keeping, Politically Exposed Persons, Correspondent Banking, New Technologies, Wire Transfers, Reporting of Suspicious Transactions, etc. The primary objective of the workshop is, therefore, to enhance the capacity of financial institutions to enable them fulfill their obligations under the revised FATF recommendations.

The conduct of this training is as a response to the low performance of the financial sector as showed by GIABA’s first round of mutual evaluation of member States (MS). The mutual evaluation revealed that low compliance of AML/CFT standards within financial institutions has an adverse implication on regional efforts in combating money laundering and terrorist financing. It has therefore become necessary to enhance the capacity of operators in the financial sector to strengthen the implementation of AML/CFT regime in the region and, ultimately, achieve GIABA’s overall objectives.

About one hundred and forty (140) participants, mostly compliance officers of financial institutions, are drawn from The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. The training will be facilitated by GIABA faculty and experts from the region through plenary discussions and experiential learning methods. Highlights of the opening ceremony will be the addresses by the Director General of GIABA, Dr. Abdullahi Shehu, and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

It is expected that the regional training for financial institutions on the revised FATF standards would engender better compliance to the revised FATF Recommendation; application of Risk-Based Approach in FIs business model; reduction in the vulnerability of the financial system; improved quantity and quality of STRs filed to FIUs; and increase in the detection, deterrence and disruption of money laundering activities.

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