Keeping banks’ vultures at bay

Sok Chan / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Hardware used for Cybersecurity displayed during an event in New York City. Reuters

Senior-level representatives of commercial banks, microfinance institutions, insurers and payment processing companies gathered yesterday to examine the challenges presented by the latest financial crimes and explore possible solutions.

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More than 100 participants took part in the Financial Industry Competency Building and Knowledge Sharing workshop, which was organised by local enterprise Idealink Consulting, Malaysia-based companies Tess International and Pioneer Continuum, as well as Singaporean firm Dow Jones.

The bulk of participants was comprised of senior management, compliance officers, risk managers and branch managers from the financial industry.

Topics included money laundering, terrorism financing, as well as software to counteract cybercrime and technological advancements that can help companies comply with existing regulation.

Chhor Sophanak, managing director of technology consulting firm Idealink, said that this was only the second edition of the seminar, but that already an impressive numbers of players in the financial sector had shown interest in the event.

He said Cambodia’s financial sector has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, but warned that awareness of the banking system and the software and technology involved in the sector was still very limited.

“Through collaboration with Tess International, Pioneer Continuum and Dow Jones, participants will gain more experience and knowledge on what is happening in the region in the field of compliance, anti-money laundering and crime detection, and we hope it will serve banks to bring themselves up to international standards.

“We are not focusing much on selling our software. Our intent is to share knowledge. We tried to bring the foremost experts in the financial sector in the region to share their knowledge and experience to help raise awareness of financial technology among bankers,” Mr Sophanak explained.

Idealink works with several local banks – including Vattanac, ABA, Sathapana and Canadia Bank – to install systems to combat financial crimes and terrorism financing.

“Idealink is committed to bringing the right financial crime solutions to institutions in Cambodia to help them enhance compliance, achieve operational efficiency and safeguard and improve their reputation at national and regional levels,” Mr Sophanak said.

Last October, Idealink signed an agreement with Tess International on software to combat money laundering in Cambodia.

“We partnered with Tess International because they have expertise in anti money laundering as well as advanced knowledge on detecting money laundering and dirty money in the region,” Mr Sophanak said.

Their databases of known money launders operating in the region will prove invaluable to financial institutions trying to stem the flow of dirty money into the kingdom, he said.

B.Y. Liew, Tess International CEO, said previously that money laundering was rife in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, and that it was important for Cambodia to ensure that it enforced international laws concerning the flow of illicit funds.

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