Anti-money laundering (AML) professionals in the Philippines are warning firms against a few tactical errors which could result in legal or regulatory failures. A speech given by a senior compliance officer at the Financial Executives Institute of Cebu meeting last week highlights a few areas, which banks in the country could be struggling with.
- Due diligence: carrying out due diligence on all clients, accounts, transactions and products should shed light on the risks they pose to the institution. There are no excuses for claiming you letting money laundering or terrorist financing occur.
- Advice: offering a client advise on how to commit money laundering is considered an offence.
- Reporting: an employee who fails to report on suspicious activity is liable.
- Legal knowledge: the government expanded the definition of money laundering, to require include more institutions to report suspicions. Jewellers, dealers in precious stones, real estate brokers and similar agencies are now required to report.
- Account freezing: account managers may not automatically lift freeze orders without getting clearance from compliance. bank managers to approach their compliance officers once periods lapse so the clearance can be secured.