June 26, 2019 – Palestine Monetary Authority and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) organized today in Ramallah “Complying with Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Requirements” Workshop. His Excellency Mr. Azzam Shawwa, the Governor of Palestine Monetary Authority, and Pierre Heilbronn, Vice President Policy and Partnerships of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, opened the workshop, which was attended by Mr. Wael Lafi, the Financial Follow-Up Unit Director, Mr. Buraq Nabulsi, the Director General of the Palestine Capital Market Authority, Mr. Mohammad Manasrah, Director of Supervision and Inspection Department at Palestine Monetary Authority, and Ms. Heike Harmgart, the Regional Director of the Eastern Mediterranean Region of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Other workshop attendants included representatives from Palestine Monetary Authority, the Financial Follow-Up Unit, Palestine Capital Market Authority, and directors and officers of anti-money laundering and countering of financing of terrorism, compliance control, internal audit, risk management at the financial institutions that are under the supervision of Palestine Monetary Authority including banks, money changers, and specialized lending institutions.
The two-day workshop aims to enhance controls and arrangements of anti-money laundering and countering of financing of terrorism on the basis of the findings of the National Risk Assessment (NRA) of the crimes of money laundering and terrorism financing as well as adopting, endorsing, and implementing Risk Based Approach (RBA), which aims to ensure that the anti-money laundering and countering of financing of terrorism arrangements are adequate to the specific risks and to ensure best allocation and utilization of resources focusing on risks and enhancing requirements of work governance and developing risk classification approach.
Mr. Shawwa affirmed in the opening remarks the soundness of the Palestinian banking system and the efforts of Palestine Monetary Authority to develop it and to ensure financial stability and inclusion and compliance with international banking standards especially the efforts of Palestine to safeguard all sectors of the Palestinian economy and protect them from abuse. This is accomplished by sound general policy that aims to combat money laundering and terrorism financing in the financial sector and non-financial businesses and professions. The most prominent of such efforts is the accomplishment of the National Risk Assessment (NRA) of the Risks of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing as a step towards assessment of Palestine by the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) in 2020.
Mr. Shawwa thanked EBRD for their continuous cooperation with Palestine Monetary Authority in many areas and their support to the banking sector through financing programs and the technical assistance they provide to the banks that operate in Palestine.
Mr. Pierre Heilbronn said that they EBRD is proud to partner with Palestine Monetary Authority and to help develop and strengthen compliance standards in the local financial sector. He said this is key attract investment and protect and foster local businesses.