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ACAMS Chapter Launches in Eurasia in Bid to Curtail Regional Exposure to Trade-Based Money Laundering and Other Financial Crimes

·4-min read

Launched under a strategic partnership between ACAMS and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the chapter will serve as an anti-financial crime platform for compliance professionals in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Ukraine

Chicago, June 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As part of ongoing efforts to safeguard Eurasia’s banking and trade-finance sectors, ACAMS, in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has launched the ACAMS Eurasia Chapter to serve compliance professionals in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Ukraine. The creation of the chapter, which is co-located with board members in all seven nations, builds on a June 2020 agreement between the two organizations to train bankers in the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme on compliance strategies for fighting money laundering, terrorism financing, sanctions evasion, fraud and other financial crimes.

Under the terms of the 2020 agreement, 70 compliance professionals at partnering banks in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova were given scholarships by ACAMS and the EBRD to study and obtain Certificated Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) certifications and broaden their anti-financial crime (AFC) skills and knowledge through training and in-person events. The EBRD scholarships were funded by the European Union (EU). The launch of the Eurasia chapter in 2021 will complement other professional education and peer networking efforts for compliance professionals throughout the region, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

The ACAMS Eurasia Chapter will serve as a platform for the sharing of AFC compliance knowledge and best practices tailored to address regional risks and regulatory concerns, as well as for networking and collaborative initiatives among professionals dedicated to fighting illicit finance in both private- and public-sector roles. Chapter board members in all seven countries will separately organize and host ACAMS training events in English, Russian and seven regional languages.

The joint initiatives come in response to research indicating that many banks in the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme have found it increasingly difficult in recent years to obtain trade-finance facilities from foreign commercial banks, due in part to AFC compliance hurdles and costs.

“Our partnership with the EBRD over the last year has made one thing clear about compliance professionals in the region: they are eager to put in the hard work it takes to shield Eurasia’s institutions from money launderers and other illicit actors,” said ACAMS President and Managing Director Scott Liles. “It was this enthusiasm that led us to the next step of launching what is truly a one-of-kind addition to the ACAMS family, and we’re confident the Eurasia chapter will only grow in the months and years ahead as members see what can come of ongoing training and close collaborations in the AFC sector.”

“Strong compliance controls have become a requirement for access to foreign financing and correspondent banking relationships, that are critical to cross-border trade,” said Matteo Patrone, EBRD Managing Director, Eastern Europe & Caucasus.

“Our work to date with ACAMS has already resulted in significant strides toward mitigating Eurasian banks’ exposure to trade-based money laundering and other forms of illicit finance, and we are pleased to build on that progress by opening up compliance training to institutions throughout the region. The ACAMS Eurasia Chapter is an important step toward removing barriers and enhancing trade between economies where the EBRD operates,” he said.

Officially launched on 23 June 2021, the ACAMS Eurasia Chapter will be jointly overseen by board members based in Yerevan, Baku, Tbilisi, Nur-Sultan, Bishkek, Chisinau and Kyiv. Find out more on how to join here: https://www.acams.org/en/chapters/europe/eurasia-chapter

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About ACAMS®

ACAMS is a member of Adtalem Global Education (NYSE: ATGE), a leading workforce solutions provider headquartered in the United States. ACAMS is the largest international membership organization dedicated to enhancing the knowledge and skills of anti-money laundering (AML) and financial crime prevention professionals from a wide range of industries. Its CAMS certification is the most widely recognized AML certification among compliance professionals worldwide. Its new Certified Global Sanctions Specialist (CGSS) certification commenced in January 2020. Visit acams.org for more information.

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About EBRD

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was founded in 1991 to help build a new, post-Cold War era in Central and Eastern Europe, and currently it is active in almost 40 economies across three continents, from the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, to Central and Eastern Europe, to Central Asia. It has since played a historic role and gained unique expertise in fostering change in the region - and beyond - investing almost €150 billion in a total of more than 6,000 projects.

The EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme, launched in 1999, aims to promote foreign trade to, from and among the economies in which the EBRD invests. Through the programme, the EBRD provides guarantees to international confirming banks and short-term loans to selected banks and factoring companies for on-lending to local exporters, importers and distributors. The EBRD’s TFP currently includes more than 100 partner banks in 30 economies where the EBRD invests and more than 800 confirming banks worldwide.

CONTACT: Lashvinder Kaur ACAMS +44 27388264478 LKaur@acams.org


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