The Director of the Olusegun Obasanjo Good Governance and Development Research Centre, Professor AY Shehu has charged that Bank Directors and Management have the ultimate responsibility for enforcing good compliance standards to ensure sustainability of their businesses.
Professor Shehu made this observation in a Keynote Address at the Inaugural Ceremony of the Compliance Institute of Nigeria (CIN), which was held at the Lagos Business School, Atlantic City, Lagos, on 9 December 2019.
He observed that globalization and technological advancement have spawned significant changes. Consequently, in the last two decades, many institutions within the financial services sector, especially the banks, have witnessed significant innovation and transformation: diversification of business lines; increase in the range of products and services offered to clients; growth of complex transactions; and widening of the geographical area in which they are operating and accepting risks.
Consequently, according to the Director, the establishment of the compliance function across financial institutions was primarily borne out of the need to effectively manage the compliance risks arising from businesses. In summing up the roles of Compliance Officers in banks, he concluded that though the Compliance Officer in a reporting institution has the primary responsibility, normally, the Board retains the ultimate responsibility for the implementation of an effective and efficient AML/CFT framework/program. Generally, the Board should strengthen the work of the Compliance Officer by among others, overseeing the structure and management of the compliance function and ensuring that the institution is in full compliance with extant rules and standards. Specifically with regard to AML/CFT compliance, which is the main thrust of the CIN, the Board of reporting institutions must set the appropriate tune at the top that encourages compliance, fosters transparent discussion with those involved in the process; and one that seeks to know existing compliance problems and deal with those problems surely and quickly . .. Read more ….