AML/CFT & MLRO Services

Choosing the right partner is key to ensuring ongoing compliance

Anti-Money Laundering (AML) & Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT)

Money laundering refers to the illegal process of concealing the origins of money obtained illegally by passing it through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transactions. Criminals often try to disguise the identity, original ownership, and destination of money that they have obtained through criminal conduct, with the intention of making it seem that the proceeds have come from a legitimate source. The overall scheme of this process returns the "clean" money to the launderer in an obscure and indirect way.

On the other hand, but very often closely related, Terrorism Financing refers to the provision of funds or providing financial support to individual terrorists or even terrorist groups/organisations, whether at a local or international level. Various countries have implemented different measures to counter terrorism financing often as part of their money laundering laws. At an EU level, through the implementation of EU wide directives, case in point the 4th AMLD, efforts are aimed at ensuring that all EU members are aligned with very similar AML/CFT laws, with the scope of ensuring consistency, whilst at the same time focusing all efforts towards making the EU a safer place to conduct business.

Some countries and multinational organisations have created a list of organisations that they regard as terrorist organisations, even though there is no consistency as to which organisations are designated as being terrorist by each country. The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering has made recommendations to members relating to CFT. It has created a Blacklist and Greylist of countries that have not taken adequate CFT action. 

Overall, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) refers to all the actions various countries take on a regular basis, aimed at prevent money laundering, whilst Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT)  involves investigating, analyzing, deterring, and preventing sources of funding for activities intended to achieve political, religious, ideological or other actions considered to be terroristic in nature. All these actions are predominantly lead by Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), and are at times supported by other supervisory authorities. In Malta the FIAU is the lead authority, and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), and Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) and supervisory authorities assisting the FIAU in the areas of gaming/gambling and financial services respectively.

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated: “There is no doubt that money laundering and terrorist financing can threaten a country’s economic stability, which is why the IMF has become increasingly active in supporting and promoting the AML/CFT efforts of our member countries, based on the [Financial Action Task Force] standard. What started as a small endeavour some 20 years ago has become part of our core work—from analysis and policy advice, to assessing the health and integrity of financial sectors, to providing financial assistance when needed, to helping countries build institutions and increase operational effectiveness.” 

 

The services we offer at IGA Group:

  • Assistance and preparation for an FIAU Compliance review;
  • Assistance in addressing any potential findings and recommending remedial action;
  • Assistance and representation during FIAU/MGA Compliance reviews;
  • Preparation of the Business Risk Assessment (BRA) and the Customer Risk Assessment (CRA);
  • Assistance in designing adequate AML/CFT policies and procedures in line with the updated AML regulations and Implementing Procedures;
  • Due Diligence any other related service;
  • AML/CFT Training aimed at different levels of your organisation;
  • MLRO services;
  • Preparation of the Risk Evaluation Questionnaire (REQ).

Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) Introduction

The Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) is a statutory function for Maltese domiciled funds, he/she is tasked with reporting to a Board Of Directors. Although Day-To-Day Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks may be delegated to the administrator, the MLRO is responsible for receiving information from any party that might indicate possible suspicious transactions and processing that information accordingly.

IGA Group has a team of professionals that holds the position of MLRO for a number of reputable companies. We perform the essential function of assisting the boards of directors of advising on their funds with regards to the AML requirements and providing AML specific regulatory updates, annual training and drafting and maintaining fund specific AML policies.

This includes the management and registration of suspicious transactions. It is within the obligations of the MLRO to report these to the local law enforcement and revenue authorities where appropriate.

The MLRO is the point of contact for all suspicious transactions and will need to be an appropriately experienced and sufficiently senior individual. They will require an in-depth knowledge of current legislation and regulations surrounding anti-money laundering procedures and have the experience to be able to identify, manage and resolve aml-related issues.

MLRO Responsibilities

The below is a list of responsibilities that need to be adhered by the Money Laundering Reporting Officer:
• Is the main point of contact in relation to receiving AML reports.
• Coming to the attention of a person handling relevant financial activity, which gives rise to any type of knowledge or suspicion of money laundering.
• Investigate reports in light of relevant information in order to determine if the information or other matters does give rise to such knowledge or suspicion.
• The MLRO should have reasonable access to other information which may assist in considering suspicious money laundering reports.
• Report and disclose to the Reporting Authority (FIAU) if after considering such report there is knowledge or a suspicion of money laundering.
• The MLRO should establish and maintain a register of money laundering referrals made to him by the company and individuals.
• Establish a clear customer verification procedures and AML polices while ensure adequate training of key staff.
• Ongoing monitoring of business relationships and internal procedures ascertaining maintenance of anti-money laundering whilst updating records for the required periods.
• Ensuring that internal auditing and compliance departments regularly monitor and make recommendations for up to date systems on vigilance.
• Maintaining updated procedures and manuals so that in the event of a suspicious activity being discovered, all staff is aware of the reporting chain and procedures to follow.
• Keeping abreast with any regulatory obligations updates both locally and from the EU commission.