March 30,2021

MENA FCCG Bi-Annual Members Meeting

On Tuesday 30th March, 2021, the MENA Financial Crime Compliance Group, held a virtual Bi-Annual Members meeting, attended by Member banks and their two Strategic Partners, the Union of Arab Banks and Refinitiv.  Group Chairman, Wissam Fattouh, welcomed the Group congratulating them for significant accomplishments achieved since the last Members’ meeting. He also provided an update on meeting conducted 26th March 2021 with MENA FATF Secretary General, Mr. Suleiman El Jabrin and Mr. Abed El Satar El-Najar, Deputy Director, International Cooperation, from the Office of MENA FATAF Chairman where they discussed how to further advance a MENA region Financial Intelligence Public-Private Partnership.

The Group welcomed external presentations from Ms. AnnaLou Tirol, Deputy Director of FinCEN, Ms. Ibtissem Lassoued, Chair of the MENA Chapter of the Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime (GCFFC), and K2 Integrity.

A wide-ranging agenda covered discussion around topics including increased interaction with the North Africa region, the role of Regional Arab Payments System (BUNA), and the recent publication by the MENA FCCG of the Privacy and Data Protection Assessment Guide and Questionnaire.

The presentation by Ms. Lassoued highlighted the partnership with the MENA FCCG that included three focus areas of work for 2021: a MENA region Financial Intelligence Public-Private Partnership, Anti-Bribery and Corruption, and Trade-Based Money Laundering.  K2 Integrity presented their DOLFIN regulatory intelligence platform, including developments built in consultation with the MENA FCCG for enhanced MENA content and Arabic language capability. The presentation by FinCEN concentrated on the priorities of FinCEN in 2021 and the recent US AMLA legislation.

“Illicit actors increasingly explore ways to leverage globalization and advances in technology to expand their ability to misuse the financial system.  To succeed, we all have to make an effort to join forces in our fight against financial crime. The collaboration that is needed has two critical dimensions: it must be cross border, and between the private sector and the public sector.  MENA FCCG’s intention is to continue improving those lines of communication”, said Michael Matossian, Deputy Chair, MENA FCCG.

In November 2021, MENA FCCG will hold its 2nd bi-annual Members meeting of 2021 and will celebrate its 5th Anniversary as it continues its commitment to ‘Making a Collective Impact in the Fight Against Financial Crime”