Economy of Pakistan
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While inaugurating the conference on Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/ Combating Financing of Terrorism (CFT) and Trade-Based Money Laun­dering (TBML), Dr. Reza Baqir, Gover­nor State Bank stated that significant progress has been made between May and September 2019 to meet the ac­tion plan items set by Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in different areas to demonstrate effectiveness of AML safe­ty regime of Pakistan. “There was a ma­jor rethink of the approach being taken by the authorities in early to mid 2019. Consequently, a number of steps were taken to significantly strengthen our approach to making progress on these issues,” the Governor said. He however, stressed for the need of putting more effort to make progress on remaining areas to ensure that Pakistan is out of grey list in the next meeting of FATF.

He was speaking to the conference conducted by SBP and Asian Develop­ment Bank at SBP, Karachi in a collab­orative effort to mitigate the risks of money laundering and financing of ter­rorism.

Speaking at the conference, the Governor informed the audience that since the grey-listing, State Bank has arranged many AML/CFT outreach and awareness programs for its regulated entities and stakeholders and that the conference is a useful platform to un­derstand the AML/CFT challenges be­ing faced globally and the best practices followed in mitigating such challenges.

In the context of implementing AML/CFT requirements, the Governor urged the financial sector to make ef­ficient use of technologies for assess­ment of risks, controls and ongoing monitoring of financial transactions and enhance capacity by continuous training of their employees.

Dr. Baqir emphasized that trade based money laundering poses complex and sophisticated challenges and that SBP inspection teams conducted the­matic inspections of banks with respect to export and import of specific goods. He also referred to State Bank’s frame­work for managing risks of trade based money laundering and terrorist financ­ing which has been issued to encourage authorized dealers (banks) to effective­ly manage the trade based money laun­dering and terrorist financing risks.

Ms. Xiohang Yang, Country Direc­tor ADB, and Mr. Mohsin Ali Nathani, President & CEO HABIBMETRO Bank also spoke on the occasion. Ms. Yang stated that ‘AML/CFT is a critical issue for trade finance, which is why ADB’s Trade Finance Program is playing an increasing role in this space. She stat­ed that ADB has a strong commitment to work with Pakistan’s banking sector and the SBP on this issue.

Ms. Yang further stated that the FATF has identified enhanced capacity building/training in AML/CFT as an im­mediate priority requirement and they are pleased to partner with the SBP and thankful to HABIBMETRO Bank for or­ganizing the same.

Mr. Mohsin Ali Nathani, President & CEO HABIBMETRO Bank while address­ing the conference added, ‘Enhancement of AML & CFT efforts through increased awareness and strengthened systems, controls and processes is imperative for our country and the banking sec­tor. HABIBMETRO Bank is pleased to organize this conference and bringing together relevant stakeholders from the region, regulator and banking sector to re-affirm our collective commitment to mitigating the risks of Money Launder­ing and Terrorism Financing.’

During the conference several prominent speakers and panelists dis­cussed the requisites and obligations with regard to AML and CFT, including Terrorism Financing Risk Assessments, Transnational Risks in Trade Based Money Laundering (TBML), risks posed by DNFBPs & NPOs and Ultimate Ben­eficial Ownership. The conference also included a detailed discussion on the impact of Trade Based Money Launder­ing and the repercussions of the same for the banking sector especially in the context of grey listing.

The conference was organized by HABIBMETRO Bank and attended by the Deputy Governor State Bank of Pa­kistan, Country Head Asian Develop­ment Bank and international experts in the field of AML/ CFT and trade from the United States, Australia and UAE. Participants included CEOs and senior management of Banks, DFIs, Microf­inance Banks and Exchange Compa­nies and representatives from the SBP, Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) and Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).
Governor State Bank inaugurates conference on AML-CFT & trade-based money laundering