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What we are hearing – November 2020

In November, we have seen interest in the financial crime risk and compliance management space continue to grow with continuous media coverage on compliance issues popping up in all corners of the world. 

In Australia, we saw the AML law reforms known as Tranche 1.5 pass through the lower house, and the Greens took the initiative to table a motion to extend the AML laws to gatekeeper professions like lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, high value dealers and company and trust service providers.

It is now up to the Labour Party and Liberal Party and maybe given the widespread financial crime and corruption issues that exist in Australia, it might be the right time for Australia’s politicians to acknowledge what much of the world is already taking action against.

And that is, that organised criminals use gatekeepers to launder the proceeds of crime largely without impunity and it’s a huge hole in Australia’s laws, that many regulated and unregulated businesses are being exploited to laundering proceeds of narcotic trafficking, child exploitation, wildlife and human trafficking and other heinous crimes.

Our New Zealand neighbours introduced these laws many years ago, without much fuss.

In fact, it was made very clear the measures and actions Australia can take to stop money laundering in a recent post by Transparency International.

And AUSTRAC are ready… CEO Nicole Rose last month commented on the risks AUSTRAC sees with gatekeeper professions and they are well positioned to support industry with much needed guidance having announced the planned launch of up to 10 more industry risk assessment guides next year.

In Australia, there has also been a fair amount of talk on anti-bribery and corruption after ICAC was told of two more Senior Public Officials taking bribes in the Victorian transport scandal, which might have brought Australia one step closer to forming a federal anti-corruption agency (known as the Commonwealth Integrity Commission) after the Attorney-General Christian Porter released draft legislation to make this a reality.  

The consequences of non-compliance with anti-bribery and corruption laws is real, with Goldman Sachs being handed a USD$3bn fine for its role in the 1MDB scandal, a timely reminder that It has never been a better time for major corporates to be thinking about anti-bribery and corruption risk assessments and compliance gap assessments, two challenges that Arctic Intelligences technology can help overcome

Further afield in Europe, EU Finance Ministers after a year of discussions have now agreed to launch a European-wide regulatory body focussed on fighting money laundering, paving the way for the European Commission to harmonise the AML laws and rules across all 27 member states.  For our European readers Arctic’s cloud-based AML risk assessment and AML policy development platform, AML Accelerate already covers European AML laws, so get in touch to find out how to get ahead of this wave.

And in the US, even with the most controversial election in their countries history dominating the headlines, there has also been renewed calls by money laundering experts for urgent AML reforms to be made to plug major weaknesses exposed by the FinCEN File leaks.

If you would like to find out more about how Arctic Intelligence’s financial crime risk assessment solutions and compliance gap assessment solutions help strengthen our clients defences, click here to book a demo.

Anthony Quinn

Founder + Board Member, Arctic Intelligence

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