May 2020 Note from CEO

Anthony Quinn - Founder & CEO, Arctic Intelligence

One of the positives to come from COVID-19 is having a bit of extra time to reflect on everything that is going on in the world and to spend some time reading articles, listening to podcasts, tuning in to webinars and catching up with clients, colleagues and partners.

Of the webinars I tuned in to this month, the one hosted by Nathan Lynch was a standout, as we heard from a distinguished panel of financial crime fighters from industry and AUSTRAC discussing some of the new and emerging financial crime risks brought about by COVID-19.  

The panel discussed the changing threat landscape resulting from increases in digital payments, increases in phishing attacks and other scams related to counterfeit medical supplies; increases in cash withdrawals as a protection against collapse, increases in fraudulent activity associated with Jobseeker and Jobkeeper payments, as well as, increases in identity theft as opportunistic criminals seek to take advantage of early drawdowns on other people’s super funds.

Also, discussed was the shifting risk environment resulting from the temporary closure of high cash-intensive businesses like pubs and clubs, creating opportunities for criminals to look at laundering the proceeds of crimes through other industry sectors that may not have been as exposed previously.  It is also worthwhile remembering that under COVID-19, with tighter border controls the movement of drugs and money across borders is likely to be hurting the black-economy too.

These examples, along with some of the temporary easing of regulatory requirement measures introduced by AML regulators, such as extending compliance reporting deadlines and relaxing KYC obligations really brings home the point that financial crime risk management is far from a static, once off, tick box exercise and organisations need to maintain a fluid ML/TF risk assessment and AML Program.

At Arctic Intelligence, we have been busy this month with new releases of both our risk assessment platforms, AML Accelerate to include new risk factors for COVID-19 and the Risk Assessment Platform with a range of new features and enhancements to support our clients and partners.

This month, we have welcomed new clients in the UK, South Africa, Canada and Australia and I have been connecting with some of our partners from around the world discussing a range of hot topics in a series of Meet Our Partners episodes.

We are continuing to expand our consulting partner network and if you are a risk professional and want to find out how you can incorporate our audit, risk and technology solutions within your risk advisory practices, we would love to hear from you.

Until next time, stay safe everyone…!

Anthony Quinn, Founder & CEO Arctic Intelligence

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