Bank of Lithuania Seeking to Improve AML Framework With Fintech Partnershipsby Fintechnews Baltic October 2, 2020
The Bank of Lithuania, together with ACAMS Baltics Chapter, Fintech Hub LT and the Association of Lithuanian Banks, organised a virtual international conference to discuss topical issues and ways for further improving the AML/CTF framework.
The “Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing: From Challenges to Possibilities” conference revealed that anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CTF) professionals strive for cooperation crossing not only institutional but also national borders.
Experts from supervisory and financial intelligence institutions, together with representatives of various associations, shared their knowledge on AML/CTF measures, challenges they are currently facing and future opportunities to enhance the AML/CTF system. One of the discussed challenges is de-risking.
Stringent requirements, fears of sanctions or other constraints may give rise to unexpected consequences and become conducive to financial exclusion of businesses and consumers, i.e. limit their access to financial services. This may in turn not only have detrimental impact on the economy, but also boost the shadow market.
Therefore, this issue calls for a dialogue in order to strike a good balance between compliance and non-discrimination of certain customers.
The conference also presented smart regulation solutions that would make it possible to shift to real-time monitoring for supervisory purposes and help save resources of both market participants and regulatory authorities.
“The Bank of Lithuania appreciates diverse opinions, as the best solutions can only be found through discussion. Moreover, we also take a broader approach to one of our key mandates – supervision of financial market participants – by aiming to be not merely a watchdog but also a partner to the financial sector. It is of particular importance in the field of AML/CTF, where no effort should be spared to reach the common goal of preventing and managing the associated risks. This can be done with the help of public-private partnership projects, some examples of which can already be seen,”
said Vitas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania who gave the opening remark at the conference.
One of the projects in question is the Lithuanian Centre of Excellence in Anti-Money Laundering, which is to be operated jointly by both the public and private sectors, by also envisaging a certain level of involvement by law enforcement authorities. The project has already entered one of its final preparatory stages.
Another example is the ongoing EU-level debate on uniform AML/CTF rules that would diminish existing regulatory differences across national jurisdictions and provide more clarity both for supervisory authorities and the financial market.
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