Friday, 29 January 2016

FCMB emphasises importance of compliance to sustainable banking

The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited, Mr. Ladi Balogun, has urged banks and other financial institutions in Nigeria to constantly adhere to compliance principles in line with global best practices.

This, according to him, will enable the banking industry to remain sustainable and overcome the continued threats posed by money laundering, terrorists/terrorism financing and other challenges in the society.

Declaring open the January 2016 general meeting of the Committee of Chief Compliance Officers of Banks in Nigeria (CCCOBIN) held on January 28 in Lagos and hosted by the Bank, Mr. Balogun pointed out that maintaining a sound culture of compliance remains the primary foundation upon which any sustainable compliance effort and programme rests, adding that, ‘’we must all build and sustain an organisational culture that promotes and supports compliance in the daily operations of our financial institutions’’.

The FCMB CEO further noted that actions within the regulatory and law enforcement agencies have made it abundantly clear that Boards of Directors and officers of financial institutions need to take governance, risk and compliance responsibilities more seriously in order to avoid serious compliance and reputational issues from crystallizing. Mr. Balogun therefore urged CCCOBIN to focus more on  critical corporate governance issues that are of immense importance to the banking industry.

The bank chief listed some of these areas to include; customer due diligence, suspicious transactions, excellent record keeping as well as whistle blowing. He added, ‘’to ensure that the business of banking is conducted in a responsible and transparent manner, it is imperative that we operate under full and complete compliance within all applicable laws, rules, regulations, policies, and best practices’’.

While commending financial institutions for adopting and implementing the sanctions screening services, as advised by the Central Bank of Nigeria, he stressed that, ‘’we must however remain vigilant and ensure that we do not violate sanctions directives as issued by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and other relevant international bodies. It is important to avoid dealing with individuals and entities that are subject to local and international sanctions, especially in our cross-border transactions (transfers and trade)’’.

He also commended CCCOBIN for all its efforts towards building a transparent, strong and viable banking industry, particularly the establishment of the Compliance Institute, to advance professionalism and deepening of knowledge in compliance standards.

 ‘’In FCMB, we will  continue to support your Committee to ensure that it makes proportionate investments in capacity development initiatives, information sharing and collaborative efforts to combat the threats posed to our businesses in these areas’’, Mr. Balogun assured.

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