MANILA, Philippines - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) are partnering in the pilot rollout of an internationally accredited online training program to boost anti-money laundering and know-your-client (AML/KYC) capacities of ADB's Trade Finance Program (TFP) partner banks.
"Enhancing the banking system's ability to detect money laundering and terrorist financing is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals related to peace, justice, and strong institutions. ADB regards the strengthening of governance and institutional capacity of its developing member countries (DMCs) as integral to achieving a more inclusive and sustainable future for Asia and the Pacific," ADB's Office of Anticorruption and Integrity Head John Versantvoort said Wednesday.
Backed by ADB's AAA credit rating, TFP provides guarantees and loans to over 200 partner banks to support trade, enabling more companies throughout Asia and the Pacific to engage in import and export activities.
TFP's objectives related to AML and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) are to enhance the fight against financial crime and narrow the global trade finance gap estimated at $1.5 trillion. Work in this area includes knowledge-sharing and workshops, policy recommendations, and capacity building programs for banks and regulators. These efforts contribute to the "de-risking" of correspondent bank relationships-a major issue in many DMCs, especially in the Pacific-and drive more transparency in the financial system, particularly in trade.
"Providing online trainings in developing Asia is one way to move the needle towards establishing minimum training qualifications for bank frontliners. We hope that many of them will be certified soon," said ADB's TFP Investment Specialist Nana Khurodze.
The partnership with ACAMS demonstrates ADB's broader capacity building objective of providing banking institutions with more knowledge to support small and medium-sized enterprises towards economic growth and job creation.
"ACAMS is honored to have this opportunity to partner with ADB to contribute to capacity building of the AML/KYC knowledge of its TFP partner banks. The focus on AML/CFT and sanctions are to help institutions develop a strong compliance culture to understand risks, evaluate their anti-financial crime framework, and embed the appropriate policies, procedures, and controls. This will in turn help these institutions meet international standards and recommendations," said ACAMS President and Managing Director Rohit Sharma.
(Pictured: ADB's Head of Anticorruption and Integrity John Versantvoort (third from left, first row), Can Sutken and Nana Khurodze, ADB's TFP Investment Specialists (third and fourth from left, second row), led the ADB delegation in a kickoff meeting recently with ACAMS, which was represented by its Head of Asia Pacific, Hue Dang, CAMS-Audit (second from left, first row).