Cenfri recently participated in the Inter-Governmental Action against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) regional workshop on money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF) risk assessment for financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses and professionals (DNFBPs) in Senegal.
The workshop was targeted at senior officials responsible for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) compliance in financial institutions and DNFBPs of ECOWAS member states.
Barry Cooper, Technical Director at Cenfri, presented in a panel discussion on how de-risking is driving up the risk of exclusion and how AML/CFT regulation is increasing this risk by pushing more people out of the formal financial system and turning them to increasingly sophisticated informal financial services, creating a reinforcing cycle of exclusion.
John Symington, an associate of Cenfri, delivered the keynote address on how new AML/CFT guidance introduced by the Financial Access Task Force (FATF) is leading to de-risking. De-risking refers to financial institutions discontinuing relationships with corresponding banks in areas perceived as high-risk for money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as closing accounts of existing clients perceived as high-risk. This phenomenon is having a disproportionate effect on low-income individuals who in the absence of identification documentation are considered high-risk. It is particularly affecting remittances, which are typically the most used formal channels among low-income individuals.