On December 7, 2017, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) published the Basel III: Finalising post-crisis reforms document.
Since the financial crisis in the late 2000s, the only steady area of job growth in the US financial services has been in legal, compliance and risk disciplines. As Wall Street has cut jobs in virtually every other area, the need for compliance grew in part due to the wave of new rules and regulations in the aftermath of the crisis. A chronic lack of investment in financial crime systems and processes meant that legacy systems needed to be developed, implemented and sustained to meet increased compliance obligations. Of late, this has been coupled with an advancement in technology and greater regulatory change through the EU’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) and the looming potential of ‘Tranche 2’ in Australia. These events will see an ongoing demand for financial crime skills in an already restricted job market.
With the backdrop of ongoing uncertainty around Brexit and a need to ensure financial crime requirements for regulated firms remains current, 5AMLD has gone some way to addressing this. However, there will be an increasing number of regulated firms with the addition of virtual currency platforms and wallet providers, tax-related services and traders of art. This, coupled with further requirements to consult beneficial ownership registers and enhanced due diligence in respect of high-risk third countries, will add greater complexity to customer due diligence procedures. With a number of financial institutions moving operations out of the UK in response to Brexit, the access to existing AML capability is being tested. 5AMLD presents both a challenge and an opportunity for regulated firms to reassess their systems and processes. Early planning and identifying appropriate resources to deliver these changes will be essential to ongoing compliance.
The Australian Labor Party has recently made the addition of lawyers, accountants and real estate professionals to the AML/CTF Act a pillar of their election platform. Currently, with 14,000 reporting entities this change would result in over 100,000 reporting entities. This dramatic increase coupled with a relatively quick implementation will greatly test the existing AML expertise base and could potentially present a risk of non-compliance. Central to this is the fact that many people with financial crime compliance expertise are already employed to address issues arising out of the Commonwealth Bank APRA Report, as well as the implications of the Hayne Royal Commission. With recent increased restrictions around visas, there is also reduced flexibility in accessing international skills. It is therefore essential that both current and potentially regulated entities begin considering these changes early and seek appropriate expertise with experience, both locally and internationally, in AML compliance.
With a tightening in the employment market for financial crime skills and with no respite in increased regulation we suggest
In the 18th issue of Cultivate we focus on the global supply chains in the agriculture sector which are being challenged to be more transparent, more environmentally sustainable and to meet everexpanding regulatory requirements.