By the initiative of the Estonian Banking Association, the AML Conference 2023 took place on the 2nd of November. The critical issues in the financial sector were discussed, ranging from preventing money laundering to ensuring the accessibility of basic payment services for businesses. The discussions involved representatives from banks, the Financial Supervision Authority, the Money Laundering Data Bureau, the Office of the Chancellor of Justice, several ministries, and other entities.
The panel discussion on "The Accessibility of Payment Services in Business – the Boundaries of Financial Inclusion and Over-Reaction (Unwarranted De-Risking)" was led by Monika Tomberg, a member of the board and head of the legal department at Holm Bank.
During the panel, it became evident that banks desire to determine their risk appetite and select their customers. However, it was emphasized that the fundamental rights of individuals must be guaranteed, including the right for entrepreneurs to have the option to turn to the courts to protect their rights. This, in turn, requires access to state fees, which necessitates the existence of a bank account.
The conference recognized that banks are at the forefront of the fight against money laundering, facing numerous challenges. In a landscape where wrongdoers continually devise new schemes and methods to exploit banks, regulatory authorities expect banks to increasingly identify and report suspicious transactions effectively. The discussion explored the potential of harnessing AI capabilities in this ongoing battle.
In conclusion, whether through human resources or high technology, the efficient functioning of AML/CTF processes remains of paramount importance.
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