December 17,2019

CBDDQ training session conducted by MENA FCCG UAE members on November 27, 2019

The UAE Banks Federation (UBF), in collaboration with the MENA Financial Crime Compliance Group (MENA FCCG), hosts the first training workshop on the Wolfsberg Group Correspondent Banking Due Diligence Questionnaire (CBDDQ) to elevate regulatory standards in the UAE Banking Sector

Inaugural UAE Wolfsberg Group CBDDQ workshop aimed to streamline regulatory standards for financial institutions entering correspondent banking relationships

Abu Dhabi, 27 November, 2019

UBF hosted the UAE’s first workshop on the Wolfsberg Group CBDDQ under the supervision of the UBF Compliance Committee and in collaboration with the Wolfsberg Group and MENA FCCG.  Held in Abu Dhabi, the training workshop aimed to enhance the implementation of correspondent banking due diligence across the region, and provide an overview of the purpose and structure of the questionnaire and guidance on how best to complete it.

The Wolfsberg Group published an updated CBDDQ in February 2018, which is a template that aims to provide a standardized overview of financial institutions’ correspondent banking policies and practices and enables banks to enter into cross-border correspondent banking relationships more effectively and efficiently.  More recently, the Wolfsberg Group published further interactive training material, which the workshop utilized extensively.  The workshop was attended by more than 60 participants from UBF member banks.

The training workshop was opened by Mr. Jamal Saleh (Director General – UBF), followed by an introductory address by Mr. Victor Matafonov (Group Chief Compliance Officer – Emirates NBD) setting out the overview and objectives of the event.  As the Chairman of the UBF Compliance Committee, Mr. Matafonov also provided visibility to the audience around the committee mandate, current line-up of member banks and priorities / objectives for 2019 / 2020.  The prime importance of developing the required level of understanding and consistent implementation was  reiterated.  Mr. Matafonov stated that this is an important transitional journey for all banks/FIs in the UAE to embark on and to commit to implementation of the CBDDQ across the board as soon as possible.

As part of the introduction, Ms. Rasha Talal Mortada (Acting Group Chief Compliance Officer – ADCB) provided an overview of the MENA FCCG, in terms of the mandate, remit and current membership of regional banks.

The training was delivered to the audience jointly by representatives from Emirates NBD, Mashreq Bank and ADCB as member banks of the MENA FCCG.  The panel delved into each constituent element of the Wolfsberg Group CBDDQ in detail and this was accompanied by interactive engagement by the audience to address queries, examine challenges and identify best practices.  Post the event, the comprehensive training content (in English) was circulated amongst the UBF member banks for ongoing reference (with the circulation of the Arabic version to follow in due course).

His Excellency Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair (Chairman – UBF) commented on the event: “At UBF, we are committed to safeguarding the financial environment to ensure it is conducive for doing business and enables the economy to grow.  This training workshop demonstrates our dedication to supporting the implementation of Wolfsberg Group’s CBDDQ across the UAE and enhancing regulatory standards and practices.  As globalization increases, it’s crucial that we continue to promote collaboration and establish a dialogue between key stakeholders in the global finance industry in order to further foster positive cross-border correspondent banking relationships.”