Financial crimes increased significantly during pandemic


REPORTED financial crimes during the pandemic increased significantly as the criminals exploited the conditions created by the associated economic downturn, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus (picture) said.

She said financial crimes have a direct and important effect on our economic prospects and Malaysia is now at a new frontier of compliance.  

“The fight against financial crimes is one fought on multiple fronts and the chain is only as strong as the weakest link.

“Our success requires all parties — the private sector, regulators, law enforcement agencies and other government bodies and consumers alike — to do their parts and to adapt to these new threats, to transform themselves to deal with these challenges and to collaborate to safeguard the integrity of our country’s financial system,” she said while speaking at the 12th International Conference on Financial Crime and Terrorism Financing 2022 (IFCTF 2022) in Kuala Lumpur (KL) today.

Nor Shamsiah also added that the central bank had launched MyFINet to facilitate intelligence sharing on financial crimes in 2019.

She said since its inception, this platform has successfully helped to support actions that led to the prosecution and deportation of individuals with suspected involvement in terrorism financing and proliferation financing.

Nor Shamsiah noted that BNM will continue to leverage on MyFINet to facilitate information sharing on the latest trends and typologies of modern-day scams, so that everyone can learn from each other.  

“In addition, BNM will also work with the financial industry and law enforcement agencies to explore other arrangements for exchanging information on scams with foreign authorities, including foreign financial intelligence units, given the increasingly complex networks of financial crimes,” she said.

Meanwhile, IFCTF 2022 is held from July 26 to July 27 July at the KL Convention Centre, focusing on the crucial role of the financial sector in reshaping its defence and mitigation measures in the fight against financial crime and terrorism financing, especially in the age of Covid-19.

The conference was organised by the Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers and its Compliance Officers’ Networking Group, and supported by BNM, Securities Commission Malaysia and the Labuan Financial Services Authority.

Themed “The New Frontier of Compliance: Adapt, Transform, Collaborate”, the conference gathered over 50 global financial leaders and industry experts from across Europe, the US and Asia Pacific.

Discussions at IFCTF 2022 focus on various pressing issues, including restoring greater trust and integrity in the financial sector to combat corruption; global trends in digital banking; environmental crime; cybercrime and crypto risks; and terrorism financing in the new landscape post-Covid-19.

IFCTF 2022 drew over 900 delegates from local and international financial institutions for the first in-person conference after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19.