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Access Bank Boosts Nigeria’s Profile in the Global Fight against Money Laundering




February 24, 2011
Nigeria’s profile in the international fight against money laundering and financial crimes was recently given a boost with the invitation of Access Bank as a West African delegate to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary meeting holding in Paris, France between February 20 and 25.
Access Bank has a rich history of effective collaboration and cooperation with national and international anti-money laundering agencies with the intent of bringing about a transparent and credible financial system operating at global standards. 
The Bank has remained at the fore-front of anti-money laundering campaigns in Nigeria and perhaps in the sub-Sahara Africa through its meaningful partnership with anti-money laundering agencies.  Access Bank has received several recognitions for its contributions, particularly for pioneering the deployment of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) solutions in Nigeria.
Notable among the commendations received by the Bank are those from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), GIABA, Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) and implementation partners such as DataPro Ltd. 
The Bank’s participation at the FATF plenary meetings will enable it participate in the Working Group on Evaluation and Implementation (WGEI) and also participate in discussions on the Mutual Evaluation Reports of France and Netherlands. This is expected to enhance institutional capacity in the fight against AML/CFT and deployment of AML/CFT initiatives.
Access Bank’s invitation to the FATF plenary is on the strength of GIABA’s new status in FATF which allows it to be fully involved in providing inputs for decision making and invite member states to join the GIABA delegation to FATF meetings.
Access Bank Plc is a socially responsible organization; with clearly developed strategy for facilitating societal development and wellbeing. The Bank is one of Africa’s pre-eminent financial services groups, and has a full banking subsidiary in the UK and all monetary zones across sub-Sahara Africa. The Bank is ranked 12th in Africa and amongst the top 500 banks in the world by tier 1 capital as at March 31, 2010.
The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) was established by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government in the year 2000. This is one of the major responses and contributions of the ECOWAS to the fight against money laundering. GIABA is a specialized institution of ECOWAS that is responsible for the prevention and control of money laundering and terrorist financing in the region.
The Mandate of GIABA includes:
i.        Development of Strategies to protect the economies of Member States from abuse and the laundering of the proceeds of crime;
ii.       Improvement of measures and intensifying efforts to combat the laundering of proceeds of crime in West Africa;
iii.       Strengthening co-operation amongst its members.
The establishment of GIABA as an FATF-Style Regional body (FSRB) is a demonstration of the strong political commitment of Member States to combat money laundering and terrorism financing and to cooperate with other concerned nations and international organizations to achieve this goal. Within its regional strategic framework (the GIABA Plan of Action), GIABA has the capacity to support its 15 Member States, to effectively combat these menaces in the region.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body whose purpose is the development and promotion of policies, both at national and international levels, to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The Task Force is therefore a "policy-making body" which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.
The FATF monitors members' progress in implementing necessary measures, reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and counter-measures, and promotes the adoption and implementation of appropriate measures globally. In performing these activities, the FATF collaborates with other international bodies involved in combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The FATF does not have a tightly defined constitution or an unlimited life span. The Task Force reviews its mission every five years. The FATF has been in existence since 1989. In 2004, Ministry representatives from the 35 FATF members agreed to extend the mandate of the Task Force until 2012. This 8-year mandate demonstrates that members of the FATF remain united in their commitment to combat terrorism and international crime, and is a sign of their confidence in the FATF as an important instrument in that fight.
For Further Information, Kindly contact
Fafore Olusegun, Access Bank PR and Media unit,
E-mail: Phone: +234 80 275 66 220
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