ACAMS Expands its Global Chapter Reach to Malta.
An online webinar in April saw the much-anticipated official launch of the ACAMS Malta Chapter.
The Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS), the largest international membership organization of financial crime prevention professionals with a membership base in over 175 countries, first announced a training partnership with the Malta Institute of Management in July last year.
Angela Salter – Head of ACAMS EMEA said,, “Anti-financial crime professionals are faced with a constantly evolving regulatory and technological environment that requires the latest intelligence, expertise, tools and relevant connections to effectively deal with the latest AML issues. As Malta has a significant population of global AML/CFT professionals in banks, asset management and cryptocurrency firms, we are confident they will benefit from this community created by like-minded professionals united by a common purpose.”
The new Malta Chapter is represented by 9 board members including ARQ’s Managing Partner, Manfred Galdes, in the capacity of Director of Strategy. He is joined by other high-ranking representatives from Malta’s key industry sectors that together have accumulated over 85 years of anti-money laundering working experience.
The aim of the ACAMS Malta Chapter is to provide a holistic platform and peer education in the field of AML/CFT across all relevant industries in the Maltese economy.
“We will provide a forum for discussion on emerging and technical issues, as well as create an environment for education and professional development for the anti-financial crime sector” states Manfred Galdes.
As money laundering and terrorist financing threaten financial and non-financial institutions and society as a whole, the challenge and the need to develop local experts and support organisations in preventing and detecting financial crime intensifies. Key takeaways from the online webinar included a discussion around Malta’s current situation in the spotlight due to the findings of the MONEYVAL report. “This has put Malta under the right sort of pressure and highlighted areas where we need to improve” says Manfred Galdes. Alfred Zammit, Deputy Director of the FIAU, provided an update on the progress that has been made through the introduction of better supervisory and enforcement measures, effective action and penalties that have been put in place and increased resources. It was remarked that amidst the progress that has been made by some authorities, Malta still has a long way to go and there is a degree of seriousness lacking in the area of compliance with too many companies still performing ‘tick box’ compliance. The situation in Malta is no different to other smaller jurisdictions that felt the need to develop an attractive financial services sector open to exploitation by criminals and with the additional problem of having only a small pool of resources. It is a learning curve and industry needs to embrace their duties and invest in developing a compliance culture to restore Malta’s reputation and continue to attract investment and legitimate business to the island.
Participation in the activities organised by the ACAMS Malta Chapter is encouraged from everyone in the anti-financial crime community – from policy makers and regulatory bodies; subject matter specialists; designated non-financial business professionals; and traditional finance and credit institutions.