Independent Audits Due to Barristers and Accountant’s AML/ATF Board by April 30th

ExmainationThe Barristers & Accountant’s AML/ATF Board issued a public notice requiring that all of its regulated entities forward their completed Independent Reviews by April 30, 2019, in accordance with requirements of Section 17A of the Proceeds of Crime (Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing) Regulations 2008.

What is Required under Regulation 17A?

All regulated entities must maintain an independent audit function, conducted by a qualified, independent third party or internally by persons independent of any other function, the lines of business over which the function has audit responsibilities, and financial operations. 

The audit should include:

  • An objective evaluation and assessment of the firm’s AML/ATF framework
  • An assessment of the reliability, integrity, completeness of design and effectiveness of the risk management function and the AML/ATF internal controls framework
  • An assessment of the firm’s AML/ATF compliance

When assessing the AML/ATF compliance framework, these items should be considered:

  • Is the AML/ATF program appropriate to the size and nature of your firm and its business?
  • Do the AML/ATF policies/procedures and controls adequately address the following?
    • Performance/adequacy of firm Risk Assessment
    • Customer due diligence
    • Risk mitigation and other measures to manage higher risks;
    • On-going transaction monitoring;
    • Regulatory reporting;
    • Detecting and reporting suspicious activity;
    • Record-keeping and retention;
    • Reliance on and outsourcing of relationships;
    • Completeness, frequency and testing of employee training and awareness programs
    • Testing to determine if firm employees have adequate knowledge of relevant Bermuda Acts, Regulations and guidance, the firm’s policies and procedures and the role of each employee?
    • Testing AML/ATF controls for the firm’s transactions and activities, with an emphasis on higher-risk areas
    • Testing compliance with relevant laws and regulations

How often must the Independent Review be conducted?

At least annually, but more frequently when senior management becomes aware of any gaps or weaknesses in the AML/ATF policies, procedures, or controls, or when senior management deems it necessary due to the firm’s risk assessment.

Oyster Can Help

Oyster’s consultants, having themselves been Chief Compliance Officers, Heads of Financial Crimes units, compliance officers, and Money Laundering Reporting Officers, have participated in AML audits and know what it’s like to sit in your seat. Oyster will compare your firm’s written policies and procedures, actual practices, books and records, and controls against AML/ATF requirements and regulations by testing records using risk-based and random sampling methods. Prior to issuing a final report, we will prepare a draft report for discussion, identifying efficient and practical ways to close gaps and achieve best practices. Oyster has worked with many different types of regulated clients, small to large, with a variety of different business models, and this broad level of experience will be a definite asset to your firm.


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