Bankers from the West African sub-region

By Adama Makasuba

The West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, WAIFEM, on Monday started a training programme for bankers in the sub-region on combating money laundering and other financial crimes.

The five day capacity building workshop attracted officials from the Central Bank of The Gambia, Bank of Sierra Leone, Bank of Ghana, Central Bank of Nigeria, Liberian Bank and Inter Governmental Action Group against money laundering in West Africa

Representing the director general of WAIFEM, Paul Mendy, said: “the quantum of financial and economic crimes have been on the increase and pose a threat to the integrity of the financial system.”

However, he said such capacity building would help equip officials of relevant agencies to combat the menace of money laundering and finical crimes in the sub-region.

Also speaking at the workshop, the second deputy governor of Central Bank of The Gambia, Essa A.K Drammeh, said: “money laundering has an adverse effect on the health and development of financial system.”

Mr Drammeh described the negative effects of money laundering and financial crimes as enormous, adding that it caused distortions in the financial market.

He said the menace of the effects have seriously devastated macroeconomic consequences like, inexplicable changes in money demand, prudential risks to bank soundness.

Paul Mendy of WAIFEM

“Money laundering also has a damping effect on foreign direct investment when a country’s commercial and financial sectors are perceived to be associated with the incidence of organized crimes,” he said.

According to Mr Drammeh, most African countries have experienced significant decrease in the number of correspondent banking relationship.

He added: “the decision to terminate these relationships is partly driven by the growing perception of the laxity in AML & CFT enforcement landscape.”

Meanwhile, the event is third in a row organized by the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management for Banks in the sub-region.

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