Banks in the Asia Pacific region have highlighted know your customer (KYC) obligations and trade-based money laundering as key compliance challenges.

They are also concerned about striking a balance between financial inclusion and de-risking, most notably in respect of correspondent banking relationships and the money service business sector.

The banks’ concerns were expressed at the 8th Annual Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) Asia Pacific Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crime Conference in Beijing.

KYC concerns

It was clear that many financial service providers operating throughout Asia-Pacific are struggling with basic KYC obligations and more specifically, are facing difficulties in carrying out adequate beneficial owner identification and verification, according to conference participant Emma Hunter of Baker & McKenzie’s Global AML/CTF Group.

Reporting on the conference, she said striking a balance between regulatory expectations and internal customer due diligence protocols was a hot topic for delegates.

TBML focus

Specific processes to mitigate and manage risks posed by TBML were discussed, according to Hunter.

Other topics under discussion were strategies to disrupt financial flows involving ISIS and other terrorist organisations as well as new technologies.

Many financial service providers sought specific guidance on how to mitigate and manage the risk of ‘lone wolf’ terrorists exploiting financial services and products.

Emma Hunter’s full report can be found here.