Bank Sohar successfully hosted the Oman Banking Compliance Forum at its Learning Centre in Qurum, Muscat. Financial Crime and Anti Money Laundering (AML) was a key area of focus at the forum. The forum brought together compliance officers from various local and international banks in Oman, and representatives from Central Bank of Oman (CBO), Economic Crimes and Financial Intelligence Units at Royal Oman Police (ROP), along with internationally renowned speakers on AML and Sanctions Compliance and Compliance Solutions Provider who actively participated in the forum and discussed topics such as client due diligence, Financial Crime/Fraud, AML, sanctions, trade-based money laundering etc, benefiting from the acknowledged expertise of guest speakers.
The forum was set up to allow Compliance Officers of all banks in the Sultanate to share knowledge and techniques in the areas of Compliance, Corporate Governance, Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes. The move is seen as contributing towards enhancing the already robust corporate governance culture in Oman which has seen the Sultanate retain its position as a regional leader in the field. Bank Sohar took the initiative to host the event and contribute to compliance culture in Oman, which the bank’s management and board of directors are fully supportive of and committed to.
“The Board of Directors of Bank Sohar is committed towards a Compliance culture that emphasises high standards of honesty and integrity. This forum provided a unique opportunity to the compliance officers to discuss and share regulatory developments and best practices that cover various important issues which will enhance compliance within banks and benefit the nation at large.” said Tahir al Amry, Chairman, Audit Committee of Bank Sohar.
Dr Mohamed Abdulaziz Kalmoor, CEO Bank Sohar, expressed delight in hosting the forum: “The management of Bank Sohar lays great importance to complying with regulatory requirements and appreciates the task performed by compliance officers. Compliance and Financial Crime Prevention is an important area that banks can share techniques, approaches and knowledge for mutual benefit particularly important in context of competitive industry in Oman. Bank Sohar is proud to host the forum, which is an important step in creating real awareness on fighting financial crime.”
Major Abdul Rahman Amur al Kiyumi and Captain Said Yahya al Sarmi, from Directorate General of Inquiries and Criminal Investigation, Economic Crimes Unit in ROP, were special invitees to the forum. They presented a detailed and insightful presentation on frauds and financial crimes covering practical examples and case studies such as stolen cheques, forged currency notes and card related financial crimes. Abdul Rahman added: “Financial Crime is a major risk for all jurisdictions in the world and poses financial, operational, legal and reputational threats to all companies. This has a direct impact on the reputation of Oman and if the Sultanate is to continue to grow by attracting foreign investment, it is important that we as a community excel in the financial crime prevention field.”
Captain Abdullah Said Khamis al Alawi from the Financial Intelligence Unit, (FIU) briefed the attendees on role, jurisdiction and authority of FIU in combating money laundering and preventing terrorist financing in the Sultanate of Oman. One of the main tasks of the FIU, is to receive STRs from financial and non-financial institutions and to analyse such reports and exchange them with the public prosecutor if found to be cases of money laundering or terrorist financing. He also presented details of latest 40 recommendations (recently revised) by Financial Action Task Force (FATF - a global standard-setter in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing).
Mahran al Barwani, Assistant Manager and In-charge AML and Combating Financing of Terrorism Unit, represented CBO at the forum.
Nadeem Iqbal (AGM and Head of Compliance Bank Sohar), extended special thanks to FIU (ROP), Economic Crimes Division (ROP) and CBO for their co-operation and continued support which made this forum a success. He also thanked the respective guest speakers and attendees for attending the forum.