Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Bankers Committee, SCUML in Partnership
The Committee of Chief Compliance Officers of Banks in Nigeria (CCOBIN) is partnering with relevant agencies for the development and effective implementation of compliance related to Anti-Money Laundering, AML,/ Combating Financing of Terrorism, CFT,
policies in Nigeria. Managing Director, Citi Bank, Mr. Emeka Emuwa made this known in Lagos while deliberating on the implications of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, circular on the need for Designated Non Financial Institutions, DNFIs, to register with the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML).
While acknowledging the need for adherence to statutory regulations, Emuwa said the contributions of CCCOBIN have raised the profile of Nigeria in the international community through the promotion and strong commitment to comply with global AML/CFT and KYC initiatives.
In his view, Mr. Obot Udofia who represented the CBN at the programme said such registration and compliances would ultimately help to delist Nigeria from the grey area of Financial Action Task Force, FATF, list 'where the country's rating is gradually degenerating'.
Mr. Udofia also warned that erring institutions will be sanctioned appropriately 'since the establishment of SCUML was based on recommendations 22 and 23 of the international Standard on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and proliferation, developed by the FATF', he explained.
Head of SCUML, Angela Nworgu, had described the directive of the apex bank as capable of enhancing efforts at implementing Nigeria's Anti-Money laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism, AML/CFT, regime as it will automatically translate into more registrations and supervisory work to ensure compliance with the law, since the circular has immediate and nationwide effect.
While calling on all Designated Non-financial institutions (DNFIs) and Financial Institutions nationwide to ensure strict compliance, she warned that non-compliance will attract appropriate sanctions.
It would be recalled that the CBN had in August, 2012, directed financial institutions to liaise with the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering, SCUML, of the EFCC, before dealing with Bureaux- de-change, hotels, law firms and accounting firms, which are categorised as Designated Non-financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs). The apex bank gave a six-month deadline effective from August 2, 2012.
The directive contained in a circular referenced FPR/CIR/GEN/VOL.1.028 dated August 2, 2012 and entitled: 'Additional Know Your Customer Requirement in Respect of Designated Non-financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs)', mandates all financial institutions, prior to establishing business relationships with DNFIs, to obtain evidence of registration with SCUML.
The Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML), established in 2005 as a special unit to fight Money Laundering as spelt out in the Money Laundering (Prohibition) ML(P) Act of 2004 ( Now 2011), has the mandate to monitor, supervise and regulate the activities of all Designated Non-Financial Institutions (DNFIs) in Nigeria in consonance with the Country's Anti Money Laundering and Combating of the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.