As a result of the financial crisis, the importance of effectively combating financial crime has once again been catapulted to the top of the international political agenda. In September 2009, at the Pittsburgh Summit, which set out governance structures to deal with the impact of the financial crisis, the role of anti-money laundering efforts once again, played a fundamental role in ensuring the future stability of financial and economic markets. The complexity of money laundering schemes, the number of individuals, companies, jurisdictions and financial instruments involved require AML professionals to look at the bigger picture. In order to glean the information needed to make an informed decision regarding a Client’s risk, one must go beyond the immediate target company and look at its business networks, partners and business interests. Therefore, combating money laundering requires a solid investigative approach, whereby analysts always think creatively while being comprehensive, exhaustive and meticulous in their approach. Given the importance of customer due diligence, not only through the FATF principles and through legislation such as the EU Directive, but also underlined at the Pittsburgh Summit in 2009, further development of KYC processes and procedures and the design of early warning systems must continue to play an important role in the day-to-day management of anti-money laundering programs. Originally published in the June-August 2010 Vol. 9 No. 3 edition of ACAMS Today, a publication of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS).
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