Company: ABC Bank Egypt
PR Contact: Hany Abouel Fotouh (Hany.AbouelFotouh@arabbanking.com.eg)
Posted By: Eman Hassan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published: Bahrain, Thursday, May 29 - 2008 at 15:14 (GMT+4)
Media Value: US$ 3,250 (based on reach of audited readership)
Egyptian banker presides over Anti-Money
Laundering Forum in Bahrain
Abou-El-Fotouh was chairing 3rd
Annual Middle East Anti-Money
Laundering Forum in Bahrain.
The forum has presented comprehensive outlook towards updating anti-money laundering
He said that money laundering is a global concern that requires intensive international action.
The huge amounts of dirty money injected into the international financial markets may also
undermine the financial system.
"The governments in the Middle East continue to improve their efforts to develop effective anti-
money laundering system. Countries in the region have taken advanced measures in the fight
against money laundering" he was quoted as saying. "Among the robust measures, governments
have enacted anti-money laundering legislation that criminalizes money laundering for a wide
range of crimes and created financial intelligence units or similar functions. They issued anti-
money laundering guidelines for financial institutions and non-financial institutions as well as
regulations to register hawala dealers and to control the work of charities and non-profit
organizations. Moreover, rules on cross-border movement of cash and precious metals have
been introduced. The most significant initiative was the establishment of Middle East & North
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Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENA FATF) having members from 17 countries and 12
organizations as observers" he said.
Addressing the delegates about anti-money laundering governance, Abou-El-Fotouh said "for
anti-money laundering, regulators expect to see convincing evidence that banks and other
financial institutions govern themselves well. An important measurement of AML good
governance is how well senior management and board of directors are being informed about
key aspects of AML compliance, risk management and events that may call for their attention."
Abou-El-Fotouh explained that the board and senior management should never be in a position
of being surprised by compliance deficiencies, or external sources exploiting their organization
for money laundering purposes.
To prevent such surprises, they should ensure that they are up to date on all AML risk
management and compliance matters affecting their organizations.
Moreover, regulators expect them to be well versed and knowledgeable in this area.
At the same time, they should not be bombarded with large volumes of detailed reports that
could cloud key points.
Information should be sufficiently high-level and meaningful.
He concluded by saying that despite the global effort and progress achieved to deter money
laundering, there is a considerable amount of work still to be done in this area.
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