Banks have been told to see anti-money laundering (AML/CFT) compliance as an obligation because of the need to insulate banks and other financial institutions against activities of criminals.
Managing Director of DataPro Limited, Mr. Abimbola Adeseyoju, who said this at the January meeting of the Committee of Chief Compliance Officers of Banks in Nigeria (CCCoBIN) sponsored by his company as part of activities to mark 20 years of its existence, added with AML/CFT compliance the economy will be protected from avoidable crises.
Adeseyoju wondered aloud, “What happens if we build around our banks and institutions around the ‘bad’ guys? The customers we don’t know! Their businesses we cannot dimension! Their loyalty we cannot ascertain!
“When the storm comes, we cannot properly profile out customers. Their loans are not serviced. And they (customers) do not care and simply walk away.
That is why we need to do all the Know Your Customer (KYC), Customer Due Diligence (CDD) Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) Record Keeping,
Mandatory and Suspicious Reporting and put in place Processes, Procedures, Policies and Programs,” the DataPro boss said.
He maintained that the above measures is a duty forced on us (banks) as a necessary tool for the survival of the banking business, so it is therefore expected that compliance practitioners should obey the law and comply with regulations.
Adeseyoju warned banks that reputational risks is something that cannot be quantified in naira and kobo, adding that compliance is the only provision for reputational risk.
Taking the banks and their compliance officers down memory lane, he said, “Our brand is only as strong as our reputation. The events of August 2009 are still fresh.
Compliance or the public perception of some operators moved them notches up to the top of the ladder. Those of us in compliance should therefore see ourselves as the custodians of our institutions.”
DataPro is regarded today as the leading and most experienced AML/CFT compliance training and consulting firm in Nigeria that offers AML/CFT compliance training services to more than 70 percent of the banks and other non-bank financial institutions in Nigeria. The firm is a development partner of the Committee of Chief Compliance Officers of Banks in Nigeria (CCCOBIN).
As the first indigenous AML/CFT compliance solution provider it has partnered with all the relevant agencies in spreading the gospel of compliance in Nigeria and other West African countries.
In 2006, it partnered with the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) in organising the now annual Certificate Program on AML/CFT Compliance in Dubai, UAE for all Chief Compliance Officers, Intelligence and Security Agents in Nigeria.
Since 2007, it has jointly organised the Annual AML/CFT Compliance Stakeholders Summit with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit/Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (NFIU/EFCC).
DataPro is the country consultant to GIABA, the FATF-Style regional body Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa.
In July 2010 it motivated the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to jointly organise the first ever AML/CFT compliance training for Directors of all banks and Discount Houses in Nigeria.