Money is versatile as you can use it for thousands of purposes, and not all of them are legal. And because of this, businesses that have regular inflow and outflow of large amounts of money need to be more aware of how it is being used. Or in other words, you should make sure that the money is not being used for illegal or notorious purposes. So, it is always advised to have an anti-money laundering or an AML program in place.
What Does an AML Program Do?
This means that the institution must detect suspect actions connected with money laundering practices, such as tax fraud, identity theft and terrorism funding, and report them to the proper authorities. Meanwhile, an institution’s AML compliance programme needs to include the efficiency of internal systems and controls and the risk posed by the activities of customers and clients.
As a result, an AML program should be established on a solid regulatory understanding and must be supervised by experienced and informed professionals to foster an environment of compliance at every level of their business.
How to Go About Building an AML Program?
Senior management is responsible for creating a set of rules and procedures that work for their organisation’s particular needs when building an anti-money laundering compliance program. And whether your programme is going to be large or small, it should be based on a set of essential criteria.
When it comes to anti-money laundering, risk assessment is a cornerstone and a critical first step. In addition, no two institutions have the same AML risks. Your AML program should consider elements such as the goods and services you offer as well as the types of clients you have and where you are located geographically.
In order to minimise administrative hassles from over-compliance, as well as legal risks from under-compliance, you should tailor your AML risk management program according to your company’s unique needs and goals. No one solution exists for the financial landscape’s inherent problems; each institution is required to provide a solution that suits its risk profile.
The institution’s internal controls and mechanisms to detect and report a financial crime should focus on an AML compliance program. And, those controls should be regularly reviewed so that the program’s efficacy in fulfilling compliance criteria can be assessed. Moreover, it is vital that workers understand their roles and duties inside the system and how to do due diligence on business interests and traverse rules and processes that assure compliance continuously to maintain internal AML controls.
Successful anti-money laundering programs include independent testing and auditing by third parties. Meanwhile, independent testing should be carried out every 12-18 months, although institutions operating in high-risk areas could explore a more regular schedule than that. That being said, there is no substitute for a certified third-party firm that can undertake a risk-based audit tailored to your institution.
An institution’s whole workforce must understand AML procedures. However, certain workers will be held more accountable for implementing its compliance program.
While all workers should get basic AML training, personnel who have AML-related duties should receive further training. As a result, an AML compliance program should guarantee that these individuals receive frequent training and know-how to fulfil assigned responsibilities in a way similar to developing an audit and testing schedule.
Officer to Ensure Compliance
Those in charge of anti-money laundering programmes should select a primary compliance officer responsible for monitoring the overall execution of AML policy within their institution. And if they are to be effective, AML Compliance Officers must have adequate expertise and authority inside the organisation. Also, it is essential to understand that AML policy suggestions are based on audit and report findings.