Version 2.0 of the manual launched at a high-power conference attended by leading AML and Operations experts from Exchange Houses across the region
Dubai, UAE – February 27 2018: The UAE's Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group (FERG), comprising of businesses engaged in money exchange and remittances in the country, has officially launched the second edition of the Anti-money laundering (AML) Standardisation Manual at a conference held at the Steigenberger Hotel in Dubai. The updated manual was introduced in the presence of Osama Al Rahma, Vice Chairman, FERG, Rajiv. Raipancholia, Treasurer, FERG & other esteemed officials of CB UAE and members of FERG representing UAE's most prominent exchange houses.
The AML Standardisation Manual version 2.0 is an updated version of FERG's first standardization manual, which was launched in 2015 to encourage exchange houses in the UAE to comply with UAE's Central Bank Regulations. With the Central bank releasing a complete new set of regulations for Exchange houses, FERG collaborated with KPMG to review and redraft the manual as per the new regulations. To keep exchange houses ahead of the curve, the version 2.0 pf the manual also addresses the new trends in the money laundering space.
In his keynote address, Osama Al Rahma – Vice Chairman, FERG, said, “Creating a safe, secure and progressive remittance and foreign exchange industry is the region is one of FERG's top priorities. Money laundering and finance related crimes are developing with new technologies and schemes; and our job is to make sure that the industry is always steps ahead. The new version of the AML Standardisation Manual will equip exchange houses and remittance providers with updated guidelines on anti-money laundering and help them combat the financing of terrorism. The document will also serve as an aid for exchange houses to develop and devise their own departmental procedures.”
The new edition of the manual highlights the AML angle to all aspects of the remittance and foreign exchange industry. It states clear guidelines for the sale and purchase of foreign currencies and travellers' cheques, handling remittance operations in different currencies, and payment of wages through the Wages Protection System (WPS), among other critical processes.
Speaking on the significance of the manual, Rajiv. Raipancholia, Treasurer, FERG, said, “Apart from outlining the AML/CFT legal and regulatory requirements with which exchange houses must fully comply, the AML Standardisation Manual is also a guideline for exchange houses to expand and introduce new services in line with regulatory requirements of the CBUAE. If implemented throughout the organization; the manual will equip staff members of exchange houses to prevent, detect and report unusual and suspicious transactions”
The launch event and conference also included insightful panel discussions between compliance and operations experts from the region's most prominent exchange houses. Key challenges faced by exchange houses in the GCC were addressed by the first panel which comprised of experts from CBUAE, KPMG and FERG. This was followed by a panel discussion on the importance of effective compliance program. The panel discussions were followed by a session on the emerging money laundering trends and techniques by Thomson Reuters.
“The conference was the ideal platform for the launch of the AML Standardization Manual Version 2.0; and a great opportunity for industry leaders, AML experts and Operations professionals, to get together for knowledge sharing. It was a great opportunity for all of us to pave a way forward towards creating a robust approach to fighting money laundering and other financial crimes. It's very crucial, as an industry, to periodically get together on a common platform and have discussions aimed at creating a more transparent future”, concluded Al Rahma