Five tips for AML / CFT compliance officers

AML / CFT compliance officers are scarce and highly sought-after professionals, and it has become one of the fastest growing professions in the world.

The following five tips will help you discharge some of your responsibilities as an AML / CFT compliance officer, and prove you to be a valuable asset to your organisation.

1. Ensure staff know who the AML / CFT compliance officer is

The AML / CFT compliance officer is the main point of contact for any AML / CFT related queries from staff members.

Some good ways to get noticed include running staff briefing sessions at morning tea time; spending time with each front line individual looking at how that person is involved in the AML / CFT process, plus sending monthly or quarterly newsletters/articles to all staff containing relevant AML / CFT news and updates.

2. Educate the team on the importance of AML / CFT

Take a leadership role and proactively educate the team on why AML / CFT is important and what the obligations of each person are. AML / CFT is an area that is constantly evolving, and your team must be prepared for new challenges. The AML / CFT Act 2009 also requires relevant staff to receive on-going training.

3. Fully understand the business and its clients

Only by fully understanding the business and its clients will you, the AML / CFT compliance officer, be able to identify the potential areas of most risk to the business. This is essential when writing and/or updating the risk assessment and AML / CFT programme of the business.

4. Look for ways to streamline obligations for clients

AML / CFT compliance officers should be up to date with relevant customer verification technology. To avoid the hassles of photocopying and verifying clients’ documents, electronic verification software can be used.

The use of electronic verification software, such as Member Check, Cloud Check, KYC 360, will simplify the customer due diligence procedures and potentially save you valuable hours of work.

5. Ensure the board is aware of its legal obligations

Reporting entities have to comply with certain AML / CFT legislation and regulations, and it is very important that the board is fully aware of its obligations. AML / CFT compliance officers should regularly brief the board, discuss AML / CFT matters that may arise during the course of business, and update the board with any new legal obligations as they arise.