Wolters Kluwer Financial Services Urges Asia Pacific’s Financial Institutions to Adopt a Strong AML and Compliance Culture

28 October 2015

White paper shows how institutions are adapting to change in the region, placing AML and Compliance at the heart of planning

Anti Money Laundering (AML) and compliance functions can no longer simply be viewed as a ‘cost’ of doing business or a box-ticking exercise. And those organizations that will thrive in the emerging environment in the Asia Pacific region will be those who see compliance as a cultural and strategic imperative. That’s according to a newly released white paper by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services that suggests that a strong AML and compliance culture should permeate every aspect of a financial organization.

The time when anti-money laundering regulation was primarily seen as a concern for US and European banks is rapidly drawing to a close. In recent years AML controls have arrived in Asia in force, emerging as a major focus for regional authorities, which are rapidly instituting or updating related policies to meet, and in some cases even exceed, global standards.

The white paper, “AML in Asia: Future-proof strategies for a time of flux”, shows how there are a number of drivers behind the reshaping of the regulatory landscape across the region. At the global level, there is more political pressure for a concerted international effort to address money laundering and sources of terrorist financing. At the same time a number of connected compliance issues are undergoing rapid convergence. Given the region’s mix of jurisdictions, not to mention the complexity and constant evolution of AML requirements, it is not surprising that many organizations find it a challenge to craft a sustainable framework to address AML issues.

“The growing trend towards compliance, as opposed to risk or profit at all costs, should pave the way for a more stable industry less susceptible to scandal, in which the gatekeepers are as valued as the risk-takers,” notes the author of the report, Michael Thomas, regional director, Wolters Kluwer Financial Services “And those institutions who develop a comprehensive AML framework to match current trends will be those with the most visibility into their own operations and customers. This also means they will be in the best position to anticipate and weather periods of instability, and formulate informed business development strategies.”

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