“Strengthening regulations in the financial sector and developing the right skills are crucial to addressing money laundering and financial crime.”
The EBRD and Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) have launched two scholarship programmes to provide anti-money laundering (AML) and sanctions compliance training to 120 anti-financial crime (AFC) professionals throughout the southern and eastern Mediterranean region (SEMED).
Under the initiative, 90 scholarship recipients in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia will pursue Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) credentials, while another 30 in the West Bank and Gaza will test for both the CAMS and Certified Global Sanctions Specialist (CGSS) credentials.
In addition to a full waiver of fees for the programmes, including the cost of study materials and access to virtual classroom courses, participants will receive annual membership of ACAMS at no cost.
With the support of the EBRD, ACAMS will now launch a new co-located chapter – the North Africa & Levant Chapter – in October 2023 to support regional AFC and sanctions compliance education and professional development for its members. Both ACAMS and the EBRD are currently reviewing board member applications for the new chapter.
EBRD Managing Director for the SEMED region, Heike Harmgart, said: “We are proud to roll out the AML and AFC programmes in the SEMED region, building on the progress we have achieved in partnership with ACAMS, mitigating illicit finance risks and driving institutional collaboration. Strengthening regulations in the financial sector and developing the right skills are crucial to addressing money laundering and financial crime.”
ACAMS CEO Scott Liles said: “Our partnership with the EBRD continues to bear fruit with an initiative that will protect the rule of law and safeguard financial institutions throughout North Africa and the West Bank and Gaza. Such collaborations remain critical in the global fight against financial crime, not least because they support international compliance standards and ultimately drive investigations that lead to asset forfeitures and arrests.”
The initiative follows a prior collaboration in 2020, whereby 70 compliance professionals at partnering banks in , Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine were given scholarships by ACAMS and the EBRD to study and obtain CAMS certifications and broaden their AFC skills and knowledge through training and in-person events.
The first tranche of EBRD scholarships was funded by the European Union. The launch of the Eurasia Chapter in 2021 complemented other professional education and peer networking initiatives for compliance professionals in Central Asia, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic.
“Our partnership with the EBRD continues to bear fruit with an initiative that will protect the rule of law and safeguard financial institutions.”