Saudi invests to curb money laundering
Riyadh, March 18, 2014
Saudi Arabia has invested significant resources to tackle anti-money laundering (AML) challenges including the most recent amendments concerning the local regulations, said a senior official.
Speaking at the sixth Annual Compliance and Anti-Money Laundering Seminar in Riyadh which concludes today, Dr Fahad Al Mubarak, governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (Sama), said: “Saudi Arabia’s role and commitment in the AML area is evident on the local and international levels. In November, the government issued a resolution announcing financial compensation for reporting money laundering transactions.”
“We need to cope with the ongoing change in the global AML regulation as well as the new emerging trends in the Arab World. We are also active members in the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) which has been promoting co-operation among Mena countries to enhance the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing,” he said.
The seminar, organised by Thomson Reuters, a leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, discussed the emerging regulatory trends in Saudi Arabia.
The new rules in Saudi Arabia on AML, corporate governance, and the new consumer protection law were highlighted.
Michael Mannina, financial attache, US Department of Treasury, said: “The Saudi economy is booming and the fiscal position is excellent. The new reality is that compliance today equals profit tomorrow. Today, banks are spending on compliance and risk around 50 percent more than they did years ago. Managements are now more dedicated and they already allocated resources to address regulators challenges. Regulators in this current environment can redefine the laws. I believe reputation is what will drive profits in the future.”
Other topics discussed included reaching a higher standard in corporate governance and the efforts by Saudi Arabian financial institutions to implement Sama’s regulations; and conflicts of interest, assessment and evaluation of the board and committees.
The seminar brought together more than 400 governance, risk and compliance professionals, international experts and 35 high profile regional and international speakers to share their experiences, best practices. - TradeArabia News Service