UK-based Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) and insurance firm Prudential, in partnership with the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM), recently organised the first in a series of joint workshop aimed at helping Myanmar tackle money laundering and enhancing the Southeast Asian country’s efforts to re-integrate with the global financial system.
“The timing for this workshop is very important for Myanmar to make significant progress on its Anti-Money Laundering/Combating Financial Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime,” said CBM Director General U Maung Maung.
The training session was also supported by the UK Trade and Investment Association, which is working with the Ministry of Finance and the CBM to establish a UK-Myanmar Financial Services Taskforce.
The taskforce, to be led by SCB and the British Embassy in Myanmar, will support the holistic development of Myanmar’s financial sector, SCB said in a statement.
“A joined up approach to tackling money-laundering is essential to avoid an influx of criminal money that will be harmful to the country’s economy, society and international reputation. The UK hopes to continue playing a helpful role to achieve this,” said Anthony Preston, head of prosperity, British Embassy Rangoon.
“Today’s workshop, organised by members of the future UK Financial Services Taskforce in collaboration with the CBM, is part of a wider UK contribution to the development of the financial and banking sectors.”
Standard Chartered, the first Western bank to re-open its representative office in Myanmar, said establishing a robust AML framework will help the country address a key challenge at a crucial point in the local financial sector’s development.
Tina Singhsacha, chief representative, Standard Chartered Bank (Myanmar), said, “These workshops will help deal with one of the most challenging and complex issues facing the local financial services sector today.
“It is crucial for every financial institution to recognise the importance of AML and to ensure they are implementing the proper frameworks and measures to tackle the issue.
“As a leading international bank, we believe we can contribute to [Myanmar’s] financial services capacity building efforts by sharing our insights and expertise.”
Allen Thai, chief representative, Prudential (Myanmar), said: “Today’s workshop marks the beginning of our long-term commitment to the Myanmar insurance market. Prudential is very pleased to partner with Standard Chartered Bank in sharing our practices in combating money laundering – a topic which is gaining increasing regulatory concern and attention.”
The workshop was attended by about 90 Myanmar government and private sector participants, including senior CBM, local commercial bank and insurance company representatives.
Additional workshops organised by Standard Chartered in partnership with the CBM are planned for 2014, SCB said.