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Exceptional attendance at Al Khaliji hosts anti-money laundering regulations and compliance workshop

Qatar: Monday, November 21 - 2011 @ 09:48

At the beginning of the event and in his welcoming address, Sheikh Hamad Bin Faisal Bin Thani Al Thani, Al Khaliji Chairman, said, “This workshop, organized with the Qatar’s National Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Committee, not only shows our commitment to implementing the committee’s rules and regulations, but also emphasizes the importance local financial institutions can play in supporting Qatar’s 2030 Vision in developing a modern and competitive economy. By complying with both local and international regulations, financial institutions, along with support from the State of Qatar, can create an environment where business can thrive. To fulfill the vision, therefore, it is more than a commitment – it is an obligation.”

In introducing the speakers, Ms. Abeer Al Kalla, Head of Public Relations and Communications, highlighted the importance of discussing the issue of anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, and complying with their requirements.

She further added, “Al Khaliji’s hosting of the workshop falls under the bank’s corporate responsibility strategy which aims to further education, enhance business knowledge, and build awareness amongst Qatari’s local business community.”

The event included presentations from a plethora of local and regional experts in the field, who shared their expertise and experiences with attending participants.

Three speakers took the podium to deliver key opening notes. Mr. Steve Reece, Al Khaliji’s Chief Risk Officer who spoke of the challenges facing the Qatari financial sector. In addition, he touched upon the bank’s own successes when it came to anti-money laundering regulation compliance.

“We regard our approach to anti-money laundering compliance as a success story,” explained Mr. Reece. “By getting every division of the bank involved, we have invoked the culture of compliance at Al Khaliji. This, in itself, has formed the backbone of our compliance programs. Moreover, our approach works aligned across all jurisdictions we operate in– in Qatar, in France, and in the UAE.”

Mr. Reece’s address was followed by a opening speech from H.E. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Eid Al Thani, Head of Qatar Financial Information Unit (Member of the National AML & TF Committee), and a speech by Mr. Adel Al Qulish, Executive Secretary of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENA-FATF)

Mr. Osama Zeineh, Group Head of Compliance at Al Khaliji, kicked off the main presentations with ‘Al Khaliji’s AML and Compliance Frameworks – a Practical Approach.’

He said, “As Al Khaliji operates in multiple jurisdictions, we have assessed the regulatory requirements of the different local, regional and international regulatory authorities and incorporated relevant requirements into its practice. As legislation continues to evolve, it was important to proactively keep an eye out for any new regulations or amendments and mitigate any potential risks.”

He further added, “Al Khaliji Board of Directors provided the support and independence to the compliance officer by reporting directly to the Board Compliance and Risk Committee. Our compliance programs have been defined into key pillars that enabled us to enforce the compliance with AML & CTF rules into all bank areas. These pillars enabled the business units to develop and grow legally and ethically within the Bank as well as earing the trust of our regulators and other key stakeholders.”

In addition to Mr. Zeineh, a number of presentations were also delivered, one addressed “AML Regulations and Supervision Approach”, which was presented by Mr. Al Al Sulaiti, Head of the Anti-Money Laundering Unit at the Qatar Central Bank. A question and answer session followed. Ms. Fatma Al Dosari and Mrs. Khawla Mohammed Al Darwish, from the Qatar Financial Information Unit discussed ‘Suspicious Transaction Reporting and Case Studies’.

At the end of the workshop, Dr. Ali Al Amari and Christiaan Shidyaq, from the Qatar Financial Center Regulator Authority delivered a presentation on ‘The Risk-Based Approach’.

While this was the first time Al Khaliji hosts this conference under the patronage of National Anti Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Committee, the event was well received and constituted a platform where attendees and representatives from the Qatar Banking and Financial sectors were able to exchange and share knowledge and experience on this specific topic.

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Monday, November 21- 2011 @ 9:48 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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