Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, inaugurated today the 6th Annual Compliance and Anti-Money Laundering Seminar in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Fahad Al Mubarak, Governor, Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, said, “Saudi Arabia’s role and commitment in the Anti Money Laundering area is evident on the local and international levels. The Kingdom has invested significant resources to tackle AML challenges including the most recent amendments concerning the local AML regulations. In November 2013, the government also issued a resolution announcing financial compensation for reporting money laundering transactions.”
He added, “We need to cope with the ongoing change in the global AML regulation as well as the new emerging trends in the Arab World. We are also active members in the Middle East & North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) which has been promoting cooperation among MENA countries to enhance the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.”
The first session discussed the emerging regulatory trends in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Nasser Saidi, President, Nasser Saidi & Associates spoke about the new rules in Saudi on Anti Money Laundering, corporate governance, and the new consumer protection law.
Michael Mannina, Financial Attache, US Department of Treasury, said, “The Saudi economy is booming and the fiscal position is excellent. The new reality is that compliance today equals profit tomorrow. Today, banks are spending on compliance and risk around 50 percent more than they did years ago. Managements are now more dedicated and they already allocated resources to address regulators challenges. Regulators in this current environment can redefine the laws. I believe reputation is what will drive profits in the future.”
Anas Akel, Senior Counsel, Dentons, spoke about reaching a higher standard in corporate governance and highlighted the efforts by Saudi financial institutions to implement SAMA’s regulations. Mohammed Al Obaid, Head of Compliance, The Saudi British Bank SABB spoke about conflicts of interest, assessment and evaluation of the board and committees. The seminar has become the premier compliance and Anti Money Laundering event for Saudi Arabia’s banking and financial services industry. The seminar will gather over 400 governance, risk and compliance professionals, international experts and 35 high profile regional and international speakers to share their experiences, best practices.
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