July 14,2022

Founding Members hold third meeting of the European Chapter of the MENA Financial Crime Compliance Group

On 16 June 2022 Founding Members of MENA Financial Crime Compliance Group Europe Chapter met at Europe Arab Bank Offices in London.

Nora Amin (National Bank of Egypt UK Ltd) was confirmed as Chair of the Group and Andrew Dales (Bank of London & the Middle East (BLME) was confirmed as Deputy Chair.

The group welcomed Bank ABC and Bank of London & the Middle East as additional Founding Members.

The meeting reviewed recent activities, including contacts with the City of London Corporation, the City of London Police Authority, regulatory authorities in the UK and international standard setters and regulators such as FATF, Interpol, the OECD, and the EBA. Carel van Randwyck (Themis) and Andrew Cunningham (Arab Bankers Association) agreed to develop talking points for discussions with these external contacts to ensure that such discussions would be meaningful for both sides.

Europe Arab Bank made a presentation on the UK’s Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 and on the EU’s plans to create a European AML Authority (AMLA) and a single AML Rulebook. Members considered the recent change to UK sanctions regulations which introduce ‘strict liability’ for sanctions breaches under UK law.

Mashreq Bank made a presentation on challenges related to the integration of financial crime matters into Risk Appetite Frameworks. A key point of discussion related to the need for business lines to own their risk assessments, albeit with assistance from financial compliance teams.

Carel van Randwyck provided an update on recent international developments related to financial crime and sanctions, with particular reference to the effect on banks of the conflict in Ukraine.

Andrew Cunningham updated the meeting on plans to create a specific page for the European Chapter on the website

The European Chapter of the MENA FCCG was created in December 2021. It is Chaired by Nora Amin, the Head of Compliance at National Bank of Egypt (UK). Andrew Dales, MLRO of Bank of London and the Middle East is the Deputy Chair. The Chapter’s advisory committee also includes Themis Services (represented by Carel van Randwyck), the Arab Bankers Association (represented by Andrew Cunningham), Rasha Mortada (Group Chief Compliance Officer of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank) and Mohamed Afifi (Group Chief Compliance Officer of Banque Misr). The Founding Members comprise institutions that are based either in London or in Paris.

For more information, contact Nora Amin, or Andrew Cunningham: acunningham@arab-