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The Central Bank of Nigeria has issued a guidance note that is aimed to prevent money laundering through Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) such as Microfinance Banks (MfBs), and Finance Companies.
According to the CBN Financial Policy and Regulation Director Chibuzo Efobi, the Guidance Note named Anti-money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) for OFIs will enable the sub-sector to identify, assess, and minimise the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF).
He stressed that the sophistication level of internal controls should be commensurate with the size, structure, risks, and complexity of the financial institution.
“The internal controls address risks and compliance requirements unique to a particular line of business or department and are part of a comprehensive AML/CFT compliance programme,” Efobi explained.
- OFIs are required to develop an AML/CFT programme, which at the minimum should contain board and senior management oversight, risk management, policies and procedures, monitoring and suspicious transaction report, internal control, compliance function, and training.
- OFIs board of directors would establish an AML/CFT programme in tandem with AML/CFT legislation and regulations, okay AML/CFT policies and procedures, assign a member to handle AML/CFT issues or establish a committee to do so and report to it.
- OFIs board of directors is expected to issue policies on ML/TF risks and formulate and communicate a code of conduct/ethics that includes AML/CFT issues.
- OFIs senior management is responsible and accountable for the implementation of the AML/CFT programme.
- They should ensure the programme is adequate to mitigate ML/TF risks and complies with AML/CFT laws, regulations, guidelines, and circulars.
- The determination of criminals and criminal organisations to use OFIs to launder funds and finance terrorism poses threats to the global financial system, a source of concern to the CBN.
Suggested read: Nigeria’s Senate Passes Bill to Tighten Money Laundering Rules