April 2020 Note from CEO
It’s been a while since our last newsletter, and it is hard to comprehend all that has changed in such a short period of time.
Due to COVID-19, our personal and business lives are being disrupted in unprecedented way’s and we face significant challenges and an uncertain future. Unfortunately, during chaotic times like these, there are opportunists who look to exploit the situation for their own personal gain. In recent weeks, we have seen an increase in fraud and phishing incidents as Governments, Banks and Super funds take wide-reaching actions to allow huge sums of money to flow through the global economy.
Regulated entities are facing huge challenges that cut to the heart of their very survival, while at the same time having to juggle a myriad of expectations from staff, customers, shareholders and regulators.
We have seen regulators from around the world, including AUSTRAC in Australia, issue guidance to help support businesses through this difficult period through various initiatives like extending compliance reporting periods, offering guidance on complying with KYC and SMR requirements during the pandemic and being proactive in answering any questions businesses might have.
What we expect to see over the coming months as the true extent of COVID-19 becomes clearer is fewer regulatory site visits, less enforcement action on sectors that have been heavily hit by closures, such as the gaming or foreign exchange sectors, a slowdown in new AML regulations being passed to existing and new sectors and a generally softer approach to non-compliance against businesses that are already hurting badly.
Regulators may have to re-evaluate the way they carry out inspections/reviews. This means that they will need firms to work with them in supplying data and accessing required information through secure online methods.
But in time, the expectations for effective financial crime risk and compliance management will return as they are based on sound principles. At Arctic Intelligence, we have been seeing businesses taking advantage of a slowing economy to use the time wisely and get on top of their AML/CTF risk and compliance obligations.
In times of wide-spread change, it is likely that companies will be looking at the key things underpinning their business models, such as their customers and their behaviours when using their products and services and how they access these through more non-face-to-face channels. All these things will impact the enterprise ML/TF risk assessment and the implementation of new controls or control enhancements that are needed to manage these risks effectively.
With the extension of the Annual Compliance Report in Australia to 30 June, there are still a few months to take a fresh look at your ML/TF risk assessment and our best-in-class solution, AML Accelerate, is now used by hundreds of reporting entities across 18 industry sectors and 9 countries so if you are interested in seeing how this can help your business – please get in touch with us.
– Anthony Quinn, Founder & CEO Arctic Intelligence
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