The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2019-07-08T23:28:42Z Concerns over use of spreadsheets to manage AML compliance 2019-07-08T23:28:42Z concerns-over-use-of-spreadsheets-to-manage-aml-compliance In a recent industry presentation to risk and compliance managers in Australia by regulatory software provider Arctic Intelligence, an audience poll revealed 54% of respondents listed reliance on spreadsheets for risk assessment which may no longer be fit-for-purpose for conducting anti-money laundering (AML) risk assessments as one of their top 3 concerns.  The poll also found 42% of attendees use an internally developed spreadsheet and 8% use an externally developed spreadsheet. Imelda Newton from Arctic Intelligence says, “It’s definitely a concern that so many businesses are still using spreadsheets to manage such a dynamic and data intensive process; a process that you can’t afford to get wrong if you want to protect your business from the impact of financial crime and satisfy regulatory requirements.”  “We find that this reliance on spreadsheets is usually due to legacy systems that haven’t been updated in a long time, or a lack of awareness around the availability and affordability of regulatory technology. When our clients make the switch from spreadsheets to our AML Accelerate solution, they often tell us that the key benefits include: they can easily explain and defend their risk assessment and program to regulators; the executive team and Board have peace of mind that the approach is based on industry best practice; and AML compliance costs are reduced.”   For more information about best practice AML compliance in Australia, visit https://arctic-intelligence.com/solutions/aml-solutions FMA warns NZ companies they need to do more to comply with AML/CFT regulations 2019-05-14T02:55:55Z fma-warns-nz-companies-they-need-to-do-more-to-comply-with-aml-cft-regulations The Financial Markets Authority of New Zealand issued a stark warning for regulated entities in its recently published Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) 2018 Monitoring Report. Given the Act has been in place for more than five years, the FMA stated that they had expected to see more mature processes and policies in place. Future monitoring activity will involve more on-site visits and an increased focus on reviewing independent audit reports. While most regulated entities have a risk assessment process and program in place, the FMA found that a large number are inadequate for the size and nature of the business. Many are also failing to update their risk assessment as they bring on new products and clients, or as country risk ratings changes.  The FMA gave examples of good practice, which include updating the risk assessment and programme at least annually, or whenever something changes in the regulated entity’s business; and ensuring that the risk assessment and program are appropriate for the size and nature of the business. Imelda Newton, Head of Business Development at Arctic Intelligence says “Our advice to regulated entities is that they need to make sure the solution they use for risk assessment and their risk programme is fit for purpose. Ideally it should be dynamic in nature, providing updates and alerts as the risk profile changes due to updated regulations or changes in their business and operating environment. We have an increasing number of New Zealand clients using our cloud-based AML Accelerate solution to conduct their risk assessment and create an AML program that meets the regulatory requirements of the FMA.”    The full report is available here. Businesses need to assess money laundering risk more frequently 2019-04-23T00:24:40Z businesses-need-to-assess-money-laundering-risk-more-frequently In a recent industry presentation to credit unions and mutual banks in Australia,  by Arctic Intelligence, a provider of financial crime prevention audit, risk and compliance software, an audience poll found that many businesses vulnerable to money laundering and other financial crime may not be conducting a comprehensive risk assessment often enough. While half of businesses surveyed said that they conduct an annual money laundering risk assessment, many are only doing it every two to three years. Arctic Intelligence Business Development Manager, Imelda Newton says, “It’s reassuring to see that businesses are conducting regular risk assessments, but we’re concerned that many may not be doing it often enough and face greater risk exposure. While anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) legislation doesn’t specify how frequently a risk assessment should be done, our recommended best practice is that an assessment is done at least once a year, and whenever an identified trigger occurs. Some of these triggers include the launch of a new product or service, using a new product distribution channel, or expanding into a new geographical territory.” “We’re hearing from the regulators that they have heightened concern regarding the frequency and quality of AML/CTF risk assessments. The downstream impact of a poor risk assessment can be significant.” says Newton. Arctic Intelligence warns many Australian businesses may be vulnerable to financial crime 2019-04-08T00:29:55Z arctic-intelligence-warns-many-australian-businesses-may-be-vulnerable-to-financial-crime Arctic Intelligence, a market-leader in financial crime prevention audit, risk and compliance software, warned today that many Australian businesses may be unaware that their internal risk assessment processes do not go far enough; leaving them vulnerable to money laundering, terrorist financing, sanctions and regulatory non-compliance. With organised crime is estimated to cost the Australian economy more than $36 billion a year (source: https://www.acic.gov.au/about-crime/crime-types), government regulations are tightening and the spotlight is on businesses who may be a target for financial crime, to ensure that they have appropriate controls and programs in place.  The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) is responsible for ensuring that more than 14,000 Australian businesses, across the financial services and gaming sectors, comply with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF). To meet regulatory requirements under the Act, affected businesses must conduct and maintain an ML/TF risk assessment that identifies and assesses risks and controls across a range of risk categories including; customers, products and services, channels and geographies.  It is expected that the risk assessment is undertaken whenever the business’ risk profile changes and must be subject to Board approval. Founder and CEO of Arctic Intelligence, Anthony Quinn said, “A key component of an anti-money laundering program is the risk assessment. If the risk assessment is not accurate and doesn’t truly reflect the nature, size and complexity of a business, and the systems, procedures and controls that have been implemented are not appropriate and proportionate to these risks, then the AML/CTF program will not be fit for purpose.” “While we fully support the requirements laid out by AUSTRAC, we strongly urge organisations to include additional areas of risk in their assessment, including the internal and external environment in which they operate, their employees, and third party outsourcing.”  “Our anti-money laundering risk and compliance software, AML Accelerate (AMLA) is used by many leading financial and designated non-financial services businesses both in Australia and overseas.  AML Accelerate includes six areas of risk assessment: environment, customer, business, product and service, channel, and country. Starting from this robust assessment of risk to their business, our customers are able to build out an internal anti-money laundering program that compiles with government regulations and helps to protect their business from financial crime.”