Malaysia’s success in alleviating financial crime and combating terrorism financing requires all parties – the private sector, regulators, law enforcement agencies and other government bodies, and consumers alike, to do their part; to adapt to these new threats, to transform themselves to deal with these challenges, and to collaborate to safeguard the integrity of our country’s financial system.

Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, Governor, Bank Negara Malaysia, said in her keynote address at the International Conference on Financial Crime and Terrorism Financing (IFCTF) 2022, that we are now at a new frontier of compliance. “The fight against financial crimes is fought on multiple fronts. And the chain is only as strong as the weakest link.”

The IFCTF 2022, held on 26 – 27 July 2022 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, focused on the crucial role of the financial sector in reshaping its defence and mitigation measures in the fight against financial crime and terrorism financing, especially in the age of Covid, where reliance on financial technology grows in tandem with the emergence of new digital and environmental crime.

Organised by the Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers (AICB) and its Compliance Officers’ Networking Group (CONG), and supported by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Securities Commission Malaysia and the Labuan Financial Services Authority, IFCTF 2022 provided a timely platform for the anti-money laundering/counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) and anti-financial crime community have crucial conversations on the pervasive threat posed by financial crimes, share insights and potential solutions to issues and challenges.

The conference also enabled the participants to develop a comprehensive approach to combating financial crime and AML/CFT through strong cooperation across the global financial community.

Themed “The New Frontier of Compliance: Adapt, Transform, Collaborate”, the conference gathered over 50 global financial leaders and industry experts from across Europe, the US and Asia Pacific, who shared deep insights and perspectives on the latest megatrends and developments in financial crime and AML/CFT landscape, strategies and policies to mitigate crime risks, emerging technologies and digitalisation in compliance, and the importance of ethics, integrity and collaboration in building robust defences against these crimes.

AICB Chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim said, “As the sole professional body for bankers in Malaysia, the capacity building remains one of our core focuses and we are here to support our members and the industry. Together with the Asian Banking School, we continuously work closely with industry and relevant partners to build and strengthen the competence and skill sets of the financial sector workforce in compliance and AML/CFT through the various certifications that we offer.

“We hope these efforts will contribute strongly to building a sustainable local pipeline of finance practitioners equipped with the capacity and capabilities to combat the scourge of financial crime and preserve the sanctity of the financial system upon which millions of people depend.”

CONG chairman Faradina Mohammad Ghouse said, “The IFCTF 2022, themed ‘The New Frontier of Compliance: Adapt, Transform, Collaborate’, aims to further raise awareness and deepen the understanding of threats and risks posed by financial crime, money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF). These are crucial for compliance and financial crime practitioners, who play a critical role as guardians of the global financial system.

“It is imperative that the industry comes together via platforms such as the IFCTF and the AICB-CONG industry network to cultivate an ecosystem of awareness and collaboration to influence, understand and strengthen our vigilance in combatting financial crime and ML/TF. 

Discussions at IFCTF 2022 focused on various pressing issues, including restoring greater trust and integrity in the financial sector to combat corruption, global trends in digital banking, environmental crime, cybercrime and crypto risks, and terrorism financing in the new landscape post-Covid-19.

Among the key international speakers at the conference were leading global experts on financial crime, including among others, Special Agent Shannon Bieniek, International Corruption Unit, Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI); Rob Phillips, APAC Head of Incident Response & Digital Forensic Investigations, Kroll, Singapore; Eva Crouwel, Head of Financial Crime, Luno, South Africa; Roro Wide Sulistyowati, Specialist of the Directorate of Anti-Corruption of Business Entity, KPK Indonesia; and Fabrizio Fioroni Adviser, Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Financing of Terrorism, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Thailand.

Others were Alison Kelly, Head of Strategy and Engagement, HM Treasury, United Kingdom; Ian Collins, Technical Assistance Advisor — Counter Terrorist Finance, HM Treasury, United Kingdom; Radish Singh, Partner, Financial Services Consulting, Lead Financial Services Risk Management (FSRM), Ernst & Young, Singapore; and Michael Byrne, Chief Executive Officer, Institute of International Banking Law and Practice, USA.

IFCTF 2022 drew over 900 delegates from local and international financial institutions and was the first in-person conference after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19.


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