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NBU and the EBRD: ICA qualifications for Partner-Banks and de-risking framework

On September 16-17, 2019, during the week of Trade Finance in Ukraine two practical seminars were held at the NBU Training Center, namely ICA course on “Money Laundering Risks in Correspondent Banking” and ICA course on “Financial Crime Prevention” with the assistance of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

They are a continuation of the National Bank's unprecedented de-risking program launched in 2018 in close collaboration with the EBRD’s Trade Finance Facilitation Program and the International Compliance Association (ICA). As a part of a wider de-risking framework, the regulator, development bank and compliance association came together to deliver two above mentioned ICA’courses, bringing the best international practices for the benefit of 60 students from Ukrainian banks in 2019.

For the first time in the history of ICA and the EBRD, two institutions are jointly funding scholarships to 10 employees of the NBU's Financial Monitoring Department and 50 employees from 8 (eight) other Ukrainian banks namely: Bank Lviv, Credit Agricole, Oschadbank, OTP bank, Piraeus bank, Raiffeisen Bank Aval, Ukreximbank, Ukrgasbank and Ukrsibbank  with further certification in the aforementioned compliance areas.

The week of Trade Finance in Ukraine enabled by the EBRD will continue with the Certificate for Documentary Credit Specialists professional qualification, delivered by Mr. Vincent O’Brian Executive Committee of Banking Commission of the International Chamber of Commerce, Annual International Conference: Trade Finance in Ukraine 2019 with over 80 of registered participants and will be concluded with a specialized training entitled “Financial Crime: Best Practice Controls in Correspondent Banking” at the NBU’s Training Centre delivered by international experts with over 80 registered participants from Ukrainian banks.

The capacity building training proved to be a great success, with more than third of Ukrainian bankers and compliance officers achieving over 90 out of 100 points and above in ICA examinations last year. To celebrate the success, all of the participants are invited to the graduation ceremony scheduled for Thursday, 19 September at President Hotel lead by the President of ICA, Bill Howarth.

The NBU’s second milestone under the de-risking framework set out for all Ukrainian banks is to create profile to in internationally acknowledged platform such as SWIFT KYC Register or Accuity Bankers Almanac. To support the banking sector in achieving this target, NBU in collaboration with the EBRD enabled two practical workshops for Ukrainian banks delivered by (1) SWIFT regarding practical aspects of completing the SWIFT KYC Register and (2) workshop delivered by ACCUITY, a leader in the field of regulatory technology, which developed  the Bankers Almanac for Payments. NBU would like to use this opportunity to remind Ukrainian banks to complete its KYC profiles by December 31, 2019.

The NBU is pleased to see a great response and positive feedback from Ukrainian banks on the de-risking framework and the organized workshops. The de-risking project represents a unique collaboration between the regulator, Ukrainian banks as well as a policy dialog partner the EBRD and technical experts ICA, SWIFT and ACCUITY. NBU expresses its special gratitude to the EBRD and International Compliance Association for enabling access to trader finance and compliance specialists in Ukraine through 109 fully funded scholarships awarded in 2018-2019.

James Rickett, invited ICA expert, AML/Financial Crime Course Director, introduced to the students the key financial crime risks, fraud typologies and control tools, global fight against corruption through legal and regulatory system. The seminars agenda also included customer due diligence (CDD) and effective monitoring systems, the sanctions and the aim they achieve. All students could exercise in groups to explore ways of fraud, its main components, control and monitoring tools, understand what behaviours constitute corruption, participate in the subject discussions, etc.

Ihor Bereza, Director of Financial Monitoring Department of the NBU highlighted the great support of the EBRD and ICA and stated that the overcoming of adverse consequences of de-risking is one of key goals set in NBU strategy. Meeting high AML world standards by Ukraine is the essential modern requirement. Holding such workshops with subsequent certification of experts, is one of the milestones to achieve this task, and an important sign that anti-money laundering and financial crimes prevention in Ukraine are considered at a high level. This, in turn, contributes to the integration of the Ukrainian banking system into the world community, enhancing its transparency, credibility and strengthening it as a whole.

Kamola Mahmudova,  Senior EBRD Banker and Operation Leader, said:  Ukraine is one of the largest trade finance players in the EBRD trade facilitation programme, we are sure that that the compliance capacity development will help Ukrainian banks to create state of the art AML eco system so that it becomes supports system for importers and exporters and a hostile place for those that want to abuse it.

Bill Howarth, President of the International Compliance Association, said: The EBRD Trade Finance compliance partnership with the ICA has been an unqualified success with many Ukraine banking students performing well in the certifications. The EBRD scholarship scheme is a great support to the jurisdiction and the co-operation and support of the National Bank of Ukraine is highly valued

James Rickett, invited ICA expert, AML/Financial Crime Course Director, said: The specialist Certificate in Correspondent Banking and certificate in Financial Crime Prevention was a huge success and a significant step forward in the synergy between the regulator of Ukraine, numerous financial institutions and the International Compliance Association. It was a great honour to meet fellow compliance professionals in Kiev and I am personally looking forward to contributing towards the development of students who are playing a major role of financial crime prevention within Ukraine.


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