The Fintelekt Certified AML/CFT Professional (FCAP) programme was held at Hotel Aloft in Bangkok on 9th and 10th March 2023. A total of 42 participants from banking, money transfer, fintech, regulatory and supervisory institutions across seven countries in Asia, viz. Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Maldives, Nepal, the Philippines and Vietnam, joined the programme.
List of Participanting Institutions
- Anti-Money Laundering Council, Philippines
- BRAC Bank
- Canadia Bank
- J Trust Royal Bank
- Joint Development Bank
- Laxmi Bank
- Maldives Islamic Bank
- NMB Bank
- Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR)
- Prabhu Bank
- Prabhu Money Transfer
- ST Bank
The FCAP programme is a 2-day intensive course designed as a comprehensive and practical masterclass for aspiring and practicing AML/CFT professionals to learn and stay updated with the latest tools, techniques and developments in anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT).
Arpita Bedekar, Director for Strategy and Planning at Fintelekt, set the context, explaining that FCAP was introduced in response to a pressing regional need for an advanced training and certification programme that can help demonstrate a commitment and contribute towards building a stronger AML/CFT regime in the institution, country as well as the global financial system.
(1) Day One
Training Session One
Supranee Satitchaicharoen, Director, Cooperation and Standard Development Division, Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO), Thailand was the featured speaker during the first session, providing a background of the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) and its activities, and the expectations that it has from its reporting entities, which are common across most countries.
Supranee also explained the various initiatives taken by AMLO to counter recent typologies in AML/CFT and fraud. Participants were able to gain from an interactive session with a senior regulatory representative and understand the perspective with which supervision and enforcements take place within the AML/CFT regime.
Training Session Two
T. R. Hariharan, Trainer, Fintelekt took over from Supranee and engaged the participants in an interactive discussion on key fundamental aspects of AML and CFT:
- Strategic understanding of AML/CFT risks and the risk-based approach: covering the need for a strong AML governance framework, balancing AML compliance and business priorities in accordance with the defined risk appetite of the organization and the consequences of non-compliance. The participants also studied the various elements involved in an enterprise-wide risk assessment (EWRA) and the effective application of a risk-based approach to AML/CFT.
- Correspondent banking risks: including evaluating and monitoring counterparty risks and MVTS considerations within correspondent banking.
- Screening and due diligence: including key sanctions risks and screening, politically exposed persons (PEP) risks and screening, adverse media monitoring and cross-border wire transfer screening.
- Ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO): and the risks associated with legal persons, corporate vehicles and arrangements and methods for establishing beneficial ownership and source of funds.
Day One of the FCAP programme ended with a group work case study. Participants were divided into four groups and were given a case apiece, which they had to analyse as a group. The trainer, Hariharan facilitated the discussions and provided inputs on how to go about analysing the case.
A group-leader from each group collated and presented the findings of the analysis conducted by their group, which was them summarised and concluded by Hariharan.
(2) Day Two
Training Session One
The second day of the FCAP training programme was kicked off by Vijay Bharadwaj, Senior Manager, Ingenia Consultants, Singapore via a session on evolving risks and their impact on the AML/CFT function. Vijay took the participants in detail through the risks from digital payments, fintechs and various types of payment intermediaries, use of third parties in delivery channels and risks from virtual currency, decentralized finance and NFTs. The session also included the latest regulatory guidance around the region and major updates from international bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force.
The second half of his session encompassed the latest technology developments such as artificial intelligence and machine learning and best practices among financial institutions in the region when it comes to the use of technology, and monitoring.
Training Session Two
Dr. Naomi Doak, Regional Coordinator, Counter Wildlife Trafficking, representing the Bangkok office of the Wildlife Conservation Society spoke to participants about regional trends in wildlife trafficking and environmental crimes including the growing nexus with organised criminal activity and emerging money laundering typologies in the region.
Training Session Three
The post lunch session of Day Two of the FCAP programme was facilitated by T. R. Hariharan and covered the following topics:
- Combating trade-based money laundering (TBML): which included an understanding of TBML techniques & latest typologies, trade due diligence measures to detect suspicious transactions and methods and best practices for combating TBML.
- Terrorism financing risk and detection, the terrorism financing process, cross-border risks, and recommendations by the Wolfsberg Group and the Financial Action Task Force on combating terrorism financing.
- Proliferation financing, its three stages, comparison with money laundering and terrorism financing, difficulties faced in identifying proliferation financing and proliferation financing risk assessments.
(3) Certificate of Participation
The FCAP Certificate of Participation was awarded to each of the participants at the end of the programme. Shirish Pathak, Managing Director, Fintelekt presented the certificates.