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Countering Trade Based Money Laundering Trainers’ Program for Banks in Ghana

Countering Trade Based Money Laundering Trainers’ Program for Banks in Ghana 10th  March 2023.National Banking College, Accra. Ghana

On 10th March 2022. The Ghana Association of Banks (GAB) in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), held a day’s training program at the Ghana Banking College for fifty (50) Compliance Officers and Trade Finance officers of the 23 commercial banks in Ghana, the Development Bank of Ghana and the Bank of Ghana on Trade-Based Money Laundering. The program follows a training program attended by the GAB under the auspices of the World Bank and IFC with sponsorship from The Ministry of Finance of Luxemburg.

The focus of the training program was to reiterate to participants the trends in Trade-Based Money Laundering, Perspectives of Correspondent Bank Relationships and De-risking in Ghana, Typologies and Reg Flags, Risk Assessment Methodologies and Controls, International Standards and Best Practices among others

In his opening remarks, Mr. John Awuah, the CEO of GAB said the GAB was delighted to collaborate with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to organize the program for the benefit of the banking industry in Ghana.

He reiterated that Money laundering is a serious global problem that affects the integrity of our financial systems. As an industry, we are responsible for ensuring that we do not unwittingly facilitate money-laundering activities. This requires that we remain vigilant and adopt best practices to prevent, detect and report suspicious transactions.

Mr. Awuah emphasised the importance of compliance with international regulations and standards, such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations, in ensuring the integrity of the banking sector and safeguarding against financial crimes to avoid being listed on the international “grey list”

Mr. Awuah further indicated that Trade-based money laundering, in particular, presents a significant risk to our banks and financial institutions. It is a complex and evolving phenomenon that requires constant attention and ongoing training.

He expected that the program would equip participants who would serve as advocates with the necessary skills and knowledge to train staff in their respective banks on how to identify and report suspicious transactions and to effectively manage the risks associated with trade finance.

Mr. Awuah was confident that the expertise and resources the IFC brings would help enhance our capabilities and build the capacity of our trainers. He was also grateful to all the participants who have taken the time to attend the program and that their commitment to improving their skills and knowledge was commendable.

He further encouraged participants to share the knowledge and skills gained during the training program with their colleagues and to work collaboratively with other stakeholders in the industry to combat money laundering.

He was hopeful that participants would take advantage of this opportunity to network and learn from each other.

Ms. Abena Asare-Menako, the Chief Compliance Officer of Societe Generale Ghana, and Mr. Philip Odoom, the Head of Compliance of UBA, excellently facilitated the program.  Lucas Diez Suarez, the Principal Counsel and Head of Integrity Risk of the IFC joined them virtually from Washington DC, USA.