April 19,2022

MENA FCCG Holds Plenary Meeting

Guest Speakers:

– Alan Ketley Executive Secretary, Wolfsberg Group
– Suliman Aljabrin Executive Secretary, MENA FATF

On April 19, 2022, MENA FCCG conducted its first virtual Plenary Meeting of the year. Michael Matossian, Deputy Chair commented on members’ passion and commitment that have contributed to the significant accomplishments to date, bringing regional and international recognition to the MENA FCCG within a short period of time.

During the Meeting, Dhar Solanki, Europe Arab Bank MLRO and Chair of the MENA FCCG Europe Chapter provided an update on the Chapter’s activities since its establishment in November 2021.

The meeting also discussed progress on other vital initiatives including outreach to Central Bank of Libya for the purpose of holding a session in Libya, initially targeting upper management in setting “the right tone” to drive a culture of ethics and compliance. Members also discussed progress on BUNA, the Arab Regional Payment Platform launched by the Arab Monetary Fund, whereby members have been working closely with BUNA to ensure alignment with sanctions compliance best practice. Members also discussed progress on Project Rose; a consortium of banks looking to establish a Global Screening Utility.

The meeting also provided an update concerning the Trade-Based Financial Crime (TBFC) MENA specific training; a joint initiative with the Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime (GCFFC) – MENA Chapter. The experts working group will soon release a comprehensive TBFC Reference Guide enriched with latest real-life case studies. The Paper offers in-depth insights into how illicit funds, goods or services can be moved through trade flows. The authors drew on the wealth of published information on the subject as well as their decades of combined expertise. Actions are underway to prepare TBFC educational videos in Arabic and English language.

Mr. Alan Ketley, Executive Secretary of the Wolfsberg Group also joined as a guest speaker and delivered a presentation on Wolfsberg Group upcoming priorities including revised CBDDQ and accompanying guidance documents as well as continued focus on effectiveness in tackling financial crime as necessary to enhance the value of the Group’s publications.

Lastly, Mr. Suliman Aljabrin, Executive Secretary of the MENA FATF joined the meeting as a guest speaker where he discussed key MENA FATF priorities including building dialogue with the private sector. The session was moderated by David Shepherd, MENA FCCG Advisory Committee Member. Mr. Suliman highlighted such dialogue is essential for passing the MENA FATF Mutual Evaluation Process focusing on effectiveness as well as ensuring MENA FATF typology report effectively tackle pain points and challenges.