Standard Chartered Bank holds first anti-money laundering workshop in Myanmar

YANGON—The UK’s Standard Chartered Bank confirmed today that it recently held the first in a series of joint workshops aimed at helping Myanmar tackle the global issue of money laundering and enhance the country’s efforts to re-integrate with the global financial system.

Prudential, a UK-based financial services company, co-organised the workshop in partnership with the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM).

About 90 Myanmar government and private sector participants, including central bank senior officials and representatives from local commercial banks and insurance companies, attended the first workshop.

“The timing for this workshop is very important for Myanmar to make significant progress on its Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Standard Chartered Bank and Prudential for their support in arranging this event and to the trainers who have all come a long way to make this event successful,” said Maung Maung, director-general of the central bank.

The training session was also supported by the UK Trade and Investment Association, which is working with Myanmar’s Ministry of Finance and the CBM to establish a UK-Myanmar Financial Services Taskforce. The taskforce, led by Standard Chartered Bank and the British Embassy in Rangoon, will support the holistic development of Myanmar’s financial sector.

“Today’s workshop is part of a wider UK contribution to the development of the financial and banking sectors. A joined-up approach to tackling money-laundering is essential to avoid an influx of criminal money that will be harmful to the country’ s economy, society and international reputation,” said Anthony Preston, head of prosperity at the British Embassy, adding that the UK hopes to continue playing a helpful role to achieve this.

Establishing a robust anti-money laundering framework will help the country address a key challenge at a crucial point in the local financial sector’s development, said a senior official from Standard Chartered Bank.

“We believe we can contribute to the country’s financial services capacity-building efforts by sharing our insights and expertise. The desire to do so is grounded in our belief that banks should be socially useful and agents of change,” said Tina Singhsacha, chief representative of Standard Chartered Bank (Myanmar).

“These anti-money laundering workshops will help deal with one of the most challenging and complex issues facing the local financial services sector today. It is crucial for every financial institution to recognize the importance of anti-money laundering and to ensure they are implementing the proper frameworks and measures to tackle the issue.”

Her view was echoed by Allen Thai, chief representative of Prudential (Myanmar).

“Today’s workshop marks the beginning of our long-term commitment to the Myanmar insurance market. Prudential is very pleased to partner with Standard Chartered Bank in sharing our practices in combating money laundering – a topic which is gaining increasing regulatory concern and attention,” he said.

The UK bank plans to organise other workshops next year in partnership with the central bank.

Standard Chartered is the first Western bank to re-open its representative office in Myanmar, which has operated for more than 150 years in some of the world’s most dynamic markets and earns about 90 per cent of its income and profits in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

With 1,700 offices in 70 markets, the bank offers international career opportunities to more than 88,000 staff.

Source: ELEVEN Myanmar

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