Blog: Financial Crimes under the spotlight at 14th Refinitiv MENA Regulatory Summit – ZAWYA

ABU DHABI, UAE – Refinitiv, a London Stock Exchange Group business, will convene the 14th edition of the Refinitiv MENA Regulatory Summit on 25-26 October 2022 at the Four Seasons hotel Abu Dhabi, under the patronage of the UAE Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (“EO AML/CTF”).

The summit will be the first major gathering of the region’s professionals working in regulation, compliance, risk and government authorities since the outbreak of the pandemic. According to the 2021 Refinitiv MENA Financial Crime Report 2021, more than 51% of MENA compliance officers face new risks due the pandemic, while 25% are challenged by data breaches and 34% are dealing with data management issues. In addition, financial criminals have created global operations that employ increasingly sophisticated tactics and exploit advances in technology to evade detection and prosecution.

With support from the highest levels of government, the UAE is strengthening its AML/CFT framework with the aim of creating a sustainable system in line with the highest international standards. Over the past year the UAE has enhanced its effectiveness at combatting financial crimes through the signing of international judicial cooperation agreements, conducting of strategic awareness and training workshops, enhancing ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO) measures, and creating a Public-Private Partnership Committee, among other measures.

Mohamed Shalo, Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships at the EO AML/CTF welcomed the convening of the Refinitive MENA Regulatory Summit to Abu Dhabi. He said, “Under leadership direction, UAE continue its lead in combating money laundering and terrorist financing as an active and responsible member in the global society, and with follow-up and support of HE Hamid AlZaabi, Director General, the EO AML/CFT is strengthening the UAE’s anti-financial crime system by overseeing and implementing the National AML/CTF Strategy and National Action Plan. We are delighted that the MENA Regulatory Summit will be held in Abu Dhabi under our patronage at an important moment for the region post-pandemic  The summit has a strong record for facilitating the sharing of best practice and building and strengthening relationships between people and organisations committed to protecting financial systems  from public and private sectors.”

He added, “domestic and international cooperation and knowledge exchange are at the core of the UAE’s efforts to fight financial crime. The effectiveness of this regime is underpinned by a whole-of-government approach, and has led to the adoption of significant measures over the past year to strengthen our AML/CFT regime with a commitment to long term and sustainable impact. The agenda for this year’s summit reflects the challenges and opportunities facing the region and will appeal to professionals looking to expand their knowledge of AML/CFT tactics, understand key risks and typologies unique to the region, and become more effective at identifying and combatting illicit schemes”.

Nadim Najjar, Managing Director, London Stock Exchange Group, Middle East and Africa, said: “We are delighted to host the 14th Edition of the Refinitiv MENA Regulatory Summit under the patronage of the UAE Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism.”

“The combination of regulation, big data, and technology has created a perfect storm of disruption, forcing the financial community to rethink the way they operate and serve customers. We see a crucial need for accurate and trusted data in the MENA region as the foundation of successful compliance and risk mitigation continues to grow. ” he added.

Najjar noted: “We are committed to helping MENA firms adopt a strategic and holistic approach to managing and mitigating risk. This event has been a landmark forum addressing all emerging challenges within the MENA financial compliance community during the past few years.”

The summit will take place over two days with an agenda that features sessions on the challenges of information sharing, sanctions regimes, public private sector partnerships, FATF evaluations in MENA, virtual assets, and the technology developments of fighting financial crime. 

The MENA Regulatory Summit has established itself as the must-attend event for professionals working in the fields of financial services, regulation, compliance, risk and relevant government entities.

About Refinitiv, an LSEG business 

Refinitiv, an LSEG (London Stock Exchange Group) business, is one of the world’s largest providers of financial markets data and infrastructure. With over 40,000 customers and 400,000 end users across 190 countries, Refinitiv is powering participants across the global financial marketplace. We provide information, insights, and technology that enable customers to execute critical investing, trading and risk decisions with confidence. By combining a unique open platform with best-in-class data and expertise, we connect people to choice and opportunity – driving performance, innovation and growth for our customers and partners. 

Tarek Fleihan

London Stock Exchange Group 

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