Helsinki seminar confirms need for best practice for AML risk assessment

Conclusions from Compliance Forum Finland´s recent seminar with FCG shows that risk assessment remains a challenge, in terms of time, competence and resources. The demand for practical guidance on risk assessment, roles and responsibilities, organizational ownership remains high. And as the seminar showed, discussing both good and bad examples are regarded as very valuable.

As a proud partner of Compliance Forum Finland, FCG Risk & Compliance delivered a seminar in Helsinki on the 2nd of June on the topic of risk assessment, with Jonas Karlsson, Director at FCGs Financial Crime Prevention team on stage sharing perspectives on best practice. 

Conclusions from the seminar shows that risk assessment remains a challenge, in terms of time, competence and resources. There is a high demand for practical guidance on risk assessment, roles and responsibilities, organizational ownership. More practically, such can be demonstrated by both good and bad examples. 

”We were very pleased to hear from the participants that this was one of the most concrete and contents rich seminar for a long time. Especially the specific and practical advice as well as the clarity was appreciated,” says Sofia Stenius-Linna, Senior Manager FCG Risk & Compliance in Finland and cooperation partner of Compliance Forum Finland.  

The seminar also addressed how to set the risk appetite, what should be considered in that context, and how much time that should be taken into consideration for conducting risk assessments. 

“Once there is an opportunity to raise questions, it becomes obvious that there is a great need to discuss. AML as an issue and management area is largely still in its infancy. Given the growing attention to this area, attention around it logically increases. According to the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (“FSA”), risk assessments are even now quite general, and should be more in-depth,” says Sofia Stenius-Linna.

This translates into a need to become more specific, at the same time as existing instructions and support remain unsatisfactory. Financial institutes are in search of best practices, how to apply measure in practice with a view to ongoing working procedures. 

The Finnish FSA is due to publish instructions on general risk assessment which provides new guidance on what financial institutions specifically need to cover. Moreover, the Finnish FSA is setting articulated requirements on risk appetite linked to the general risk assessment.  

This development is ahead of what we are seeing in the Swedish context, and will be a good help for the financial sector at large, according to Jonas Karlsson. 

”The topic of outsourcing risk assessment came up in the forum. My answer is that it is better to use consultants to help develop the processes and procedures needed to establish a clear structure and management system around risk assessment, with the goal to achieve effective and efficient risk management. On the other hand, organizations can of course make use of ongoing external support in different parts of the risk assessment process, for example the country risk assessment and external monitoring of new risks, modus and typologies.”

”It is our goal at Compliance Forum Finland to provide further detail and advice on implementation, over and above what can be read from the laws and regulations. We want to deliver on this promise to the Compliance Officers community across Finnish financial institutions through this forum. I believe that promise was demonstrated this time as well, in cooperation with the experienced FCG Risk & Compliance team,” says Sari Grenman, Chairman of Compliance Forum Finland.

Please contact Sofia Stenius-Linna for more information.

Sofia Stenius-Linna

Senior Manager

Jonas Karlsson

Director

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