The Managing Director of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Mr. Adam Nuru, has called for vigilance and concerted efforts among stakeholders in the banking industry, towards combatting financial, cyber and other-related crimes.
The Chief Executive said financial crimes, particularly money laundering and terrorism financing were increasingly becoming pervasive in the society, and therefore requires combined effort and effective regulation to decisively deal with them.
Nuru, stated this while declaring open, the 44th quarterly meeting of the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria (ACAEBIN), hosted by FCMB in Lagos recently.
The meeting of ACAEBIN, which is a sub-committee of the Bankers’ Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), focused on the effects of money laundering and terrorism financing, non-compliance and sanctions for such crimes.
The meeting considered understanding of the role and expectations of internal auditors in combating the financing of terrorism, enhancing the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’s anti-money laundering administrative sanctions regime and how technology can be a major ally in combating money laundering and terrorism financing.
Speaking on the theme, “The Role of Internal Audit in Combating the Financing of Terrorism and enhancing CBN Anti-money Laundering Administrative Sanctions Regime,” Nuru stated that though stakeholders have continually reviewed strategies and initiated policies towards combating money laundering and terrorism financing worldwide, there was more to be done particularly in the areas of corporate governance, due diligence, risk and compliance, to checkmate the menace.
According to him, “recent improvements in technology in the banking industry globally, has also exacerbated the scope and reach of money laundering. With advancements, especially in digital financial services, money launderers have now developed more complex and intricate arrangements outside of the formal financial services industry, making use of various mechanisms in designated Non-Financial Institutions and sectors.
“There are possibilities in their use of digital products such as cryptocurrencies to move illicit funds across borders at breakneck speed, creating complex and layered processes that are increasingly real-time and make it difficult to monitor and detect, using the conventional means.
“We will see how technology has played the role of a transformative enabler, if we do a synopsis of the evolution of financial services in the last three decades. The paradigm shift has also given rise to new channels and methods for money laundering and terrorism financing.’’
Nuru, commended the federal government, central bank and banks for responding with various counter measures, aimed at preventing and eradicating the consequential impact of financial crimes, including the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Administrative Sanctions Regulations 2018, among other legislations and actions.
He also expressed gratitude to ACAEBIN, for fostering and promoting co-operation among chief audit executives of banks, competence and capacity building, ethical standards and professional behaviour in the industry.
In his speech, the President of ACAEBIN, Mr. Yinka Tiamiyu, said, ‘’the theme of the meeting could not have come at a better time when the apex bank has commenced full implementation of the sanctions prescribed. As Auditors and valued stakeholders, we have a very critical role to play to ensure that our respective organisations adhere strictly to this policy.”