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AML compliance is a cost centre that needs to facilitate business, conference hears

Apr 18 2013 Ajay Shamdasani, Regulatory Intelligence

Anti-money laundering compliance is a cost centre that must contribute to the bottom line at banking and financial institutions, said an industry official at a conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday. "Let's be honest, compliance is a cost centre, but we have to facilitate business," said Stephen Chan, regional AML compliance officer for the Macquarie Group in Hong Kong. "How we do that within the scope of regulations, that is the difficulty of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) Ordinance (AMLO)," he said. The ordinance came into effect in Hong Kong on April 1, 2012, and imposes customer due diligence and record-keeping requirements on specified financial institutions. AMLO was unique in that it was Hong Kong's first AML-specific statute and cast a wide net, also ensnaring remittance agents and money changers. This was done in response to the territory's most recent Financial Action Task Force (FATF) evaluation. The FATF is a Paris-based

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