GIS - 22 April, 2019: A five-day seminar on ‘Risk Based Approach to Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Supervision, aiming to provide technical assistance and help in building and strengthening our financial institutions and enhancing operational effectiveness, opened today at the Financial Services Commission House in Ebène.
In his address at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Dharmendar Sesungkur said that the workshop is in line with Government’s determination in building and enhancing the capacity of Mauritian experts. The AML/CFT, he added, is an ongoing supervisory priority for Mauritius while adding that the country can suffer irremediable reputational risks if it does not constantly review and impose the appropriate anti-money laundering and terrorism financing requirements.
Speaking on the Risk-Based Supervision approach, the Minister said that it is a key contributor to the financial stability of our financial system. However, he cautioned, that in the wake of technological advancements, risks do not remain static. The entry of new products and new technologies in the market bring along new and more serious risks, he added. Consequently, Mr Sesungkur emphasised on the need to be smart by placing and directing the energy of scarce and experienced supervisory capacity where it is most needed and to carve up regulated entities on the basis of their risk appetite.
Mauritius as an International Financial Centre, he pointed out, is seeking to become more externally-oriented and will undoubtedly face growing ML/TF risks in the process. To that effect, he said, that Mauritius requires the technical expertise, support and vigilance of the International Monetary Fund’s Regional Technical Assistance Center (AFRITAC) in order to raise the profile of the country as a responsible member of the international community, and uphold its reputation as a conducive and reputable place to do business.
The Minister also spoke of the need to nurture a new breed of supervisors and to keep building specialist expertise in key risk areas, namely technology risks and risk management areas in view to increase experts’ ability to identify higher risk areas. It is important that we encourage such talents who will challenge our established ways and ensure that our responses are always relevant and effective in order to be a step ahead of the industry, he said.
The workshop is a joint collaboration of the Ministry of Financial Services and Good Governance, the Financial Services Commission and the International Monetary Fund’s Regional Technical Assistance Center for Southern Africa (AFRITAC South). The overarching objective of the seminar is to make the participants aware of the concepts methodologies and outcomes of ML/FT risks and reinforce the regulatory perspectives evolved in recent times by international agencies such as FATF Basel Committee on Banking Supervision in this area. Participants, under the guidance of resource persons are from India and South Africa, will this be better equipped to design supervisory frameworks appropriate for their supervised entities.
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