Money launderers operate without regard to borders of any kind. They do not care what country they operate in, nor what kind of business they use as a vehicle.
Yet, the focus of governments is on the financial sector and, in some cases, on only a narrow part of that sector.
The result is that those seeking to combat money laundering are selected from a small range of potential money laundering targets and are drawn into a compliance culture.
The Society of Anti Money Laundering Professionals aims to change that, to go Beyond Compliance.
The Society aims to broaden the perspective of counter-money laundering professionals, and to provide a form of interaction between all the players from those in government who legislate, regulate and enforce to those in the community who must comply with laws that are much wider than simply the five planks of a financial services compliance regime.
The Society aims to provide a truly global interchange of ideas and to facilitate the mentoring of those new to the profession. Some people are new because they have just taken on the role and some because their country has only recently developed laws.
And the Society aims to provide support for those who are isolated, perhaps because they are the only compliance officer in their company or because their company does not provide the support that they need.
With a global education programme tailored to local needs, the Society will certify members to establish their capability in the profession.
Initially, admission is by a “grandfathering” process. Membership will at first be grown by invitation at The Financial Crime Forum events and by wider awareness programmes.
Once the Society reaches a critical mass, access to Student and Associate membership will be based on experience and to higher levels by a combination of experience and examination.
The Society will launch in due course its own certification process and we are at present in discussion with several universities to create a degree in financial crime which will include money laundering and other relevant topics.
Membership is subject to the overall supervision of the Society which may accept or decline any application for membership of the Society or any Branch or amend the level of membership in its entire discretion and terminate or decline to renew any membership in the event of breaches of the Society's Regulations.
All membership applications are submitted and considered by the Society and members are then allocated to an appropriate Branch. Branches may not approve or reject, continue or terminate any membership but branches will report to the Society any circumstances which may affect the Society's decision whether to so do.