Thursday 30 June 2022 - 7:43:33 am

UAE Banks Federation discuss financial crime countermeasures with US Treasury official

ABU DHABI, 13th July, 2021 (WAM) -- A high-level delegation of UAE Banks Federation (UBF) Compliance Committee, led by UBF Director-General Jamal Saleh, held a meeting with Mr. Paul Ahern, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, US Department of Treasury, to discuss issues relating to financial crime compliance as well as elaborate on the progress of measures aimed at combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

The delegation discussed with Ahern the challenges faced by the banking sector with respect to illicit financial flows (IFFs), as well as the steps being taken by financial institutions to streamline their compliance processes and manage compliance risks more effectively.

They also discussed the wide-ranging financial sector initiatives that are being carried out under the direct supervision of Central Bank of the UAE and with the support and participation of UBF member banks and financial institutions across the country – all of which is to improve effectiveness, efficiency, accountability and increase internal oversight to help stem the flow of laundered money.

Together with Jamal Saleh, the UBF team included Victor Matafonov, Group Chief Compliance Officer (GCCO) of Emirates NBD and Chairperson of UBF’s Compliance Committee, in addition to six representatives of UBF Compliance and Compliance Advisory Committees from FAB, ADCB, HSBC, Mashreq Bank, and Arab Bank.

Commenting on the occasion, Jamal Saleh said, "UAE banks share a close and longstanding relationship with their counterparts in the United States in banking and financial services, and the meeting with Ahern provided our members yet another opportunity to hear both sides update each other on key developments, review progress of compliance efforts, and discuss ways to curtail the flow of illicit money."

He added, "Even as illicit financial flows pose a serious threat to the stability of the global financial system, financial institutions everywhere are facing increased complexities in navigating the risk and compliance landscape".

Moreover, Matafonov stated,"Greater coordination and cooperation among various stakeholders is required to stem the flow of laundered money, and our meeting with Ahern was immensely helpful in furthering our understanding while we strive to reinforce bilateral financial relations between our members and their correspondent and partner banks in the USA".

WAM/Amjad Saleh