UAE Banks Federation holds meeting with U.S. Treasury Department official, Paul Ahern, to coordinate fight against illicit financial flows

Meeting aimed to strengthen U.S.-UAE cooperation in the financial sector and discuss ways to address compliance risk

UAE Banks Federation holds meeting with U.S. Treasury Department official, Paul Ahern, to coordinate fight against illicit financial flows

Abu Dhabi: A high-level delegation of UBF Compliance Committee, led by UBF Director General Mr. Jamal Saleh, held a meeting with Mr. Paul Ahern, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Treasury, to discuss issues relating to financial crime compliance as well as elaborate on the progress of measures aimed at combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

The delegation discussed with Mr. Ahern the challenges faced by the banking sector with respect to illicit financial flows (IFFs) as well as the steps being taken by financial institutions to streamline their compliance processes and manage compliance risks more effectively.

The delegation also discussed  with Mr. Ahern the wide-ranging financial sector initiatives that are being carried out under the direct supervision of Central Bank of the UAE and with the support and participation of UBF member banks and financial institutions across the country – all of which is to improve effectiveness, efficiency,  accountability and increase internal oversight to help stem the flow of laundered money.

Together with Director General Jamal Saleh, the UBF team included Mr. Victor Matafonov, Group Chief Compliance Officer (GCCO) of ENBD and Chairperson of UBF’s Compliance Committee, in addition to six representatives of UBF Compliance and Compliance Advisory Committees from FAB, ADCB, HSBC, Mashreq Bank, and Arab Bank.

Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Jamal Saleh said that “UAE banks share a close and longstanding relationship with their counterparts in the United States in banking and financial services, and the meeting with Mr. Ahern provided our members yet another opportunity to hear both sides update each other on key developments, review progress of compliance efforts, and discuss ways to curtail the flow of illicit money.”  He also added that “Even as illicit financial flows pose a serious threat to the stability of the global financial system, financial institutions everywhere are facing increased complexities in navigating the risk and compliance landscape”. Moreover, Mr. Victor Matafonov stated that: “Greater coordination and cooperation among various stakeholders is required to stem the flow of laundered money, and our meeting with Mr. Ahern was immensely helpful in furthering our understanding while we strive to reinforce bilateral financial relations between our members and their correspondent and partner banks in the USA”.

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