Quarterly Trend Letter 

March 2017
With the tally of bank penalties topping USD 321 billion since the crisis* Banking Leaders understandably devote much time and resources to regulatory compliance. With our quarterly i-KYC Trend Letters we endeavour to contribute to increasing the industry’s understanding of the issues involved and in this first Trend Letter for 2017 we hope you will find the following topics of interest:
  • Rolf van der Pol, Director of i-KYC Singapore takes a look at how organisations can achieve operational compliance and reduce the cost of compliance;
  • Our featured training covers our ‘AML Tips for Business Leaders’ workshop;
  • We examine the benefits and mechanics of a structured Training Needs Analysis;
  • As our guest contributor this quarter we welcome Vikram Venkataraman,  Managing Director of Vianta, a banking advisory firm situated in Dubai. Vikram gives us an insightful analysis of state of AML/CFT compliance with SMEs in the Gulf.
As always, feel free to share this Trend Letter with those who might be interested and we welcome any comments or feedback that you might have to

*Source: BCG, Global Risk 2017: Staying the Course in Banking, March 2017
How to achieve operational compliance and reduce your cost of compliance

Both the regulators and practitioners see technology and effectiveness as key points of focus for the coming year(s). Obviously both elements are related and come together in ‘the cost of compliance’. A topic that gets hotter by the day…

The Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) – Ravi Menon – shared his views on the effectiveness of regulation, post the financial crisis and mentions several key areas of focus from a regulatory point of view:
  1. Evaluate effectiveness and effect of all regulations to date
  2. Go beyond rule-setting and foster a culture of trust and risk governance
  3. Regulate technological changes
Training Needs Analysis

The effectiveness of any AML/CFT control framework hinges on the ability of staff to apply the provisions of the relevant laws, regulations and company policy as they are intended. This is not as straightforward as it may seem. Often rules need to be interpreted in the daily work to become effective deterrents against financial crime. It will come as no surprise therefore that AML/CFT training is an essential component in any firm’s financial crime prevention strategy. Continue

Featured Training: 7 Corporate Integrity Tips for Business Leaders - A High Intensity Workshop
It is generally accepted that Business Leaders are both beacon and lightning rod on the topic of their institution's moral business standards. These Leaders face the difficult task of translating management's moral compass into sensible compliance policies and practical operational measures that allow their staff to go beyond merely ticking boxes but avoid jeopardising commercial agility.

i-KYC’s '7 Corporate Integrity Tips for Business Leaders' workshop engages leaders to consider the practical implications of their role as guardians of the organisation's business integrity and provides them with inspiration and practical tools to help them fulfill this important responsibility. Continue
Feature Article: SMEs in the Middle East – yet to be caught in the tsunami of KYC/AML requirements

Vikram Venkataraman, Managing Director Vianta Advisors DMCC

One would imagine and indeed expect, that SMEs in the Middle East are caught up in the maelstrom of international KYC & AML requirements and are struggling to meet and fulfill demanding new regulations. The reality in the Middle East is quite different and as the title suggests, SMEs, have so far fared a lot better than their counterparts in other parts of the world. This, however, has nothing to do with their own capabilities but everything to do with the lack of it on the part of the banking system. Let me explain. Continue
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