Adedutan urges banking professionals to institutionalise Customer Due Diligence

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Lagos.
Dr Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer, Firstbank Group, has urged professionals and regulatory practitioners in the banking industry to create a culture of compliance and ensure that Customer Due Diligence (CDD) was embedded in all aspects of their business.

Adeduntan gave the advice while declaring open the quarterly meeting of the Association of Chief Compliance Officers of Banks in Nigeria (ACCOBIN), hosted by Firstbank, on Thursday in Lagos.

The meeting had “Institutionalising Customer Due Diligence/Know Your Customer (KYC) in the Financial Services Sector” as its theme.

According to him, institutionalising customer due diligence will help to protect the bank from financial crime and meet its regulatory obligations.

“I therefore implore everyone of us present here today, as prominent agents of change, to use our voice and influence to drive the institutionalisation of customer due diligence practices in banks.

“This is a vital step towards maintaining the integrity of our financial systems and the economic soundness of the country by extension.

“By adopting a structured and systematic approach to conducting customer due diligence, banks become adequately equipped to effectively combat money laundering, terrorism and other associated activities.

“The benefits are manifold with a major ones, being increased confidence and trust in the banking industry, ultimately leading to higher profitability.

“I enjoin us to continue to consolidate our collaborative efforts and innovative solutions for greater operational efficiencies, heightened security, and enhanced customer experiences,’’ he said.

Adeduntan, represented by Executive Director, Retail Banking, Mr Oluseyi Oyefeso, also urged compliance officers to help the banking business and protect the bank and its customers from financial crime and other risks.

He urged them to embrace technology to do due diligence, adding that it would help them to be more efficient and effective in their work as well as help them to identify and mitigate risks that would be difficult to detect manually.

Adeduntan also advised regulators to assist in educating the public about Know Your Customer (KYC) and its importance.

This, he said, would help to protect the financial system from financial crime, promote consumer protection, increase financial inclusion and build trust in the financial system.

He urged regulators to also do more in the way they treat the banks and the Fintechs.

He said, “a lot of things go wrong at that space and a lot of transactions are happening at that space; nobody is against the fintechs; we need them because they can reach the unreachable, but there is need for more interventions from the regulators.’’

He advocated more collaboration between the regulators and the banks, especially CBN and the security agencies, to fight financial crime.

“I hear CBN and the security forces have strong tools to detect this, even if you share this with banks, it will help us because we deal with volumes of transactions.

“It’s not as easy as you think to go through those transactions if you have tools that you use to share with banks and help banks.’’

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