ISLAMABAD - The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan held another full-day workshop on anti-money laundering/countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) in Islamabad on Monday.

During last week, SECP expanded its outreach efforts to other cities, and conducted sessions in Lahore (October 15, 2018) and Karachi (October 17-18, 2018) to sensitize securities, commodities, non-banking financial institutions and insurance sectors on AML/CFT obligations.

Addressing on the occasion, SECP Executive Director Khalida Habib said the commission notified Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Regulations, 2018, in June this year which are fully compliant with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) 40 recommendations and shift the perspective from one-size-fits-all to the risk-based approach, enabling financial institutions to focus their resources on the high-risk customers.

She said FATF regulations are mandatory to adopt for Pakistan as a member of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering, In order to ensure that criminals are not able to hide their identity through use of complex ownership structure of companies, partnerships, trusts or other similar forms, the financial institutions are now required to identify the ultimate beneficial owner, she said, adding that the financial institutions are also required to carry out self-risk assessment relating to money laundering and terrorist financing risks faced by them.

She further said that SECP has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) to work together for creating awareness about terror financing and money laundering in financial institutions as well as general public and undertake joint initiatives in this regard.

The workshop focused on sharing of best global practices, legislative framework, technological enhancements and streamlining of procedures in order to apply national AML/CFT measures and develop an effective AML/CFT risk assessment and compliance framework.

Mr. Shauzab Ali, Commissioner SECP, stated that commitment from higher-level management is essential for the implementation of the AML/CFT regime. He also expressed an interest in holding these seminars on a regular basis and proposed that such interaction with stakeholders would be a regular feature.

The session was last in a series of awareness/ training session as part of the outreach program to enhance understanding on the Money Laundering/ Terrorist Financing risks and obligations thereunder. Subsequent awareness and training sessions shall be conducted November to enhance capacity building of the regulated sector with respect to AML/CFT.