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Defending against trade-based money laundering

Banking’s best defence against the scourge of trade-based money laundering is intimate knowledge of its customers, according to Mark Evans, ANZ MD Transaction Banking, Institutional – and the sector must look at this as a responsibility rather than a burden. 

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Speaking on podcast, Evans said money laundering has the potential to jeopardise financial stability and fair outcomes across an economy, demanding a collective response from the banking industry

"The first line of defence is ultimately understanding and knowing who your customer is.” - Evans

“That first line of defence is ultimately understanding and knowing who your customer is,” he said. “No matter what paperwork we look at and what systems we put in place, knowing what your customer is truly doing - what their source of funds [are], what their modus operandi is and who they deal with and where - gives us the ability to sniff out when something's not quite right.”

Evans was speaking with Dinesh Anand, Head of Sanctions Compliance at ANZ. You can listen to the conversation below. 

Anand said the importance of a firm grasp of customer operations should also extend to third parties – what is called in the industry ‘knowing your customers’ customer’ or KYCC.

“If you know your customer (KYC) and you know what sort of product they are involved in, you should by then also have a sense of [their] customer base,” he said.  

“A lot of [businesses] find this a little onerous at times, particularly trading entities where this becomes more complicated.”

Evans believes this should not deter financial-services providers from doing their homework.

“The first thing we've got to do is stop looking at KYC or compliance as being a barrier,” he said.

“What we've got to do is embrace it. It is each of our responsibilities to actually detect and prevent financial crime, because it's good for society and it's good for the communities in which we operate.”

The two experts also discussed how integrating compliance early in a product lifecycle can enhance the customer experience and the importance of implementing robust staff training and knowledge-sharing systems in financial services.

Listen to podcast above to find out more.

Arun Kayal is Associate Director, Communications at ANZ Institutional

This article was originally published on ANZ’s Institutional website.

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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