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I work in the retail consumer credit sector and was initially hired to provide assistance and support to the money laundering reporting officer (MLRO) at the time. Since then my role has expanded massively and I now exercise oversight and control over anti money laundering (AML) systems, controls, processes and procedures. It has also been broadened to fraud prevention, detection and deterrence strategies within the firm – something I’ve found challenging yet very engaging.
What do you find enjoyable about your role? What are the challenges?
The complex nature of the illicit crimes which I’m engaged to detect, deter and prevent make each and every working day different. In the consumer credit sector the breadth of financial crimes and instances of fraud are extremely varied and complex; each day I face a multitude of different challenges. I enjoy the uncertainty of not knowing the obstacles each day presents.
Working in the regulated sector, in a financial crime compliance specific role, involves the oversight, implementation and maintenance of systems, controls, processes, procedures and people. I enjoy enhancing and employing new systems, specifically working with RegTech to use technological innovations to change the firm’s response plan to financial crime and fraud.
But with these enjoyable aspects come a host of challenges. Maintaining a comprehensive awareness of regulatory developments is essential to the role, but to remain competent it’s also crucial to develop and maintain skills in strategic thinking, timely organisation and detailed assessments.
Overall the greatest task in my role is implementing and maintaining an employee and firm-wide anti-financial crime and anti-fraud culture. This ensures all staff are thinking about the illicit crimes they encounter in daily transactions, and thus making sure they are escalated adequately to investigate, deter and prevent further detriment.
What are the benefits of being a member of ICA?
The principle benefit of being an ICA Member is the additional resources that an individual would not be able to access otherwise. These extra materials – industry insights, blogs, articles and webinars – are brilliant for maintaining up to date knowledge in the field, as opposed to resources from search engines which, at times, are littered with inaccuracies and biases.
What difference has studying with ICA made on your career, your confidence, or career prospects?
Studying with ICA has changed my career prospects enormously. Initially, going into the ICA International Diploma in Anti Money Laundering I had my career goals in mind; since completing the Diploma I have learnt more about the industry and met a range of individuals who have expanded my career goals and reach massively. The Diploma was more than a course – it was a culture change.
How has gaining an ICA qualification helped with your day to day job?
My ICA Diploma has helped me with my day job by allowing me to invest time in researching, analysing and developing my knowledge in my field of work. It has also given me the platform to meet other professionals in the industry, which has been crucial in evolving my career and knowledge.
What advice do you have for fledgling compliance professionals?
My advice would be to keep learning, building and improving your knowledge to obtain a good foundation for your career.