Nairobi, May 13th, 2015 – Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), the umbrella body of the commercial banking industry in Kenya with membership representation across the East Africa Community, has partnered with Thomson Reuters to host a summit that seeks to be the region’s benchmark forum for the financial services sector Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) community.
The summit addressed priority GRC areas, covering key topical issues including emerging capital markets regulations; and Anti-Money Laundering/Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) compliance standards. In addition to the regulatory outlook, attendees shared best practices in the areas of Internal Audit and Assurance, “Know Your Customer”, and how the “Three Lines of Defense” model can achieve combined assurance. The summit featured a series of panel discussions and keynotes presentations. The speakers included Attorney General Prof. Githu Muigai; Donald Ouma, Head of Product Development, Nairobi Securities Exchange; Paul M. Muthaura, Acting Chief Executive, Capital Markets Authority (Kenya); and Tamsin Freemantle, Business Development Manager, Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Speaking at the event, KBA CEO Habil Olaka noted that the forum was fundamental in shaping the regional GRC agenda, particularly for the banking sub sector of the financial services industry. “We are pleased to partner with Thomson Reuters in hosting the East Africa Governance, Risk and Compliance Summit which provides an ideal platform for financial sector players and regulators to discuss challenges and best practices, as well as to share experiences on key topical issues,” said Mr. Olaka. In Kenya, KBA has keenly supported its members in implementing and complying with emerging regulatory trends including the areas of AML/CFT, and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) that was introduced by the United States Government. “KBA has collaborated with the National Treasury and Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) in local, regional and global compliance policy setting initiatives with most recently being the legal and regulatory framework for the AML/CFT compliance process,” said Mr. Olaka. “Through the National Task Force on AML/CFT chaired by National Treasury and coordinated by the CBK, we have been successful in addressing the strategic deficiencies that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had identified in Kenya’s AML/CFT regime, consequently leading to Kenya being removed from FATF’s “watch” list under its on-going global AML/CFT compliance process,” he said. In addition to the AML/CFT national policy initiative, KBA also serves as the secretary to the FATCA taskforce that is chaired by National Treasury and seeks to engage the U.S. Government on establishing an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) on the country’s compliance with the new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements. “We are also keenly supporting our members in complying with FATCA. It is commendable that all our member banks are now registered as participating Foreign Financial Institutions and have established the internal compliance processes to comply with the provisions of the Act — particularly on the aspect of on-boarding of new customers and monitoring existing customers,” added Mr. Olaka. Developed by Thomson Reuters Governance, Risk & Compliance business unit, the GRC Summit is a platform where regulators and compliance, risk, governance and legal professionals, together with expert consultants and vendors from around the world connect and solve business problems and share experiences and best practices. “Thomson Reuters has been working with the financial markets community in Kenya and East Africa to promote best practices in the area of governance and risk management. We are delighted to be part of this knowledge platform that addresses GRC challenges and regulatory trends across the investment community.” said Kevin Gallagher, Head of Africa: Financial & Risk, Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters GRC develops management and training services in the areas of enterprise risk, policy management, audit, global regulatory intelligence, financial crime, anti-bribery and corruption policy, supply chain risk management, and enhanced due diligence.
About Kenya Bankers Association
Founded on 16th July 1962, Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) is the banking industry’s umbrella body and financial sector’s leading advocacy group representing total assets in excess of Ksh3.3 trillion (USD 36.2 million). KBA has evolved and broadened its function to include advocacy on behalf of the banking industry, and championing financial sector development through strategic projects. KBA has undertaken major industrywide initiatives, including aligning standards on payments; promoting pricing transparency through the introduction of the Annual Percentage Rate framework (costofcredit.co.ke); and the modernization of the National Payments System through the Automated Clearing House, which KBA owns and operates. In line with the Government’s policy on public-private partnerships, the Association and CBK have implemented key milestone projects such as the Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS), and the Kenya Credit Information Sharing Initiative, which introduced the use of information collateral provided by credit reference bureaus to enhance credit access for borrowers.
About Thomson Reuters
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