By: Standard Chartered
The annual event encourages public-private sector collaboration in combating financial crime in Africa
Standard Chartered Bank has hosted financial institution and correspondent banking clients from across Africa at the Bank’s Regional Correspondent Banking Academy to promote responsible financial inclusion and best practice sharing on emerging industry trends. The Academy is part of the Bank’s unique strategy of “de-risking through education” and creating a collaborative approach to manage financial crime risk in its correspondent banking portfolio.
The Academy has been designed as a platform to raise industry standards by empowering financial institutions to act effectively in fighting financial crime while also creating wider awareness on emerging technologies and financial disruption. Attending the two-day event in Johannesburg (4-5 July), which is in its third successful year included regulators, multi-lateral institutions as well as senior business and compliance officers from some of Standard Chartered’s key respondent banking clients in Africa.
To drive further public-private engagement, this year Standard Chartered partnered with the African Development Bank for the workshop. Presentations and panel discussions from subject matter experts on a wide range of topics included tackling cyber-enabled crime, combatting the transnational organised crime of illegal wildlife trafficking, strengthening controls to mitigate emerging risks in sanctions compliance and trade-based money laundering, as well as addressing challenges in managing new payment methods and the evolving regulatory landscape.
Speaking at the opening session of the Academy, Kweku Bedu Addo, CEO South Africa and Southern Africa at Standard Chartered Bank, said: “Correspondent banking is an important means of facilitating cross-border trade and investment that finances growth – central to our DNA as a Bank. We’re determined to set ourselves apart by promoting the safety of our financial system and protecting against financial exclusion.”
“By supporting our local correspondent banking clients in the region, we enable their access to the international financial system, support our commercial footprint and build strong relationships with them.” he added.
Heidi Toribio, Managing Director, Global Head Financial Institutions, Global Banking, at Standard Chartered Bank said that the initiative was key to preserving correspondent banking relationships, and removing ambiguity from compliance standards through partnership. “Correspondent banking goes to the heart of facilitating cross-border trade and financing growth, which is central to our DNA and our purpose as a bank; We set up the Correspondent Banking Academy four years ago to share our tools and experience to help our correspondent banking clients build robust controls for managing financial crime risk. Since we launched the Academy we have had 5,000 senior bankers in more than 70 countries take part in the program.”
Yaw Kuffour, Head of Trade and Commodity Finance at the African Development Bank which worked alongside Standard Chartered at this event said: “We welcome this initiative by Standard Chartered Bank to raise awareness about best practices in compliance procedures and how regulators can support correspondent banking. This event is timely given the ongoing de-risking by global banks and its effect on correspondent banking in frontier markets, especially Africa. The African Development Bank has a goal to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Africa and will continue to work with strong and committed partners such as Standard Chartered Bank to ensure local banks on the continent are not excluded from the global financial system.”
To date, the Bank has held Correspondent Banking Academies and regional workshops across its footprint in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, reaching over 1,200 respondent banks in more than 70 countries, and engaged with more than 5,000 participants. Following the event, attendees will be able to access the client learning platform so they can raise awareness of financial crime risks amongst their staff.