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Interview with Kazi Shafiul Azam, Senior Assistant Vice President and CCC Member, AML & CFT Division, Prime Bank, Bangladesh

Shafiul has more than 18 years of experience in various key positions in the banking industry, ranging from IT to AML at Head Office Level. He joined Prime Bank in December 2017 as Senior Assistant Vice President (SAVP) and is currently serving as a Member of Central Compliance Unit as SAVP of Anti-Money Laundering Division, Head Office, Prime Bank Limited. Prior to this, he worked with Export Import Bank of Bangladesh (2005-2017), The Premier Bank (2004-2005) and Social Islami Bank (2001-2003).

Fintelekt: What motivated you to choose the compliance profession?

Shafiul: Compliance is a challenging and genuinely rewarding area of work. It positively influences many key decisions affecting firms as a whole, or even just a single customer.

Following are the reasons I chose compliance as a profession:

  • Opportunity to work with regulatory bodies & correspondent banks worldwide;
  • Non-traditional work;
  • IT/IT tools play an important role in compliance, and I am handy with the same;
  • Exposure to senior management and decision-making roles;
  • Mission-critical tasks;
  • Dynamic quality of work;
  • Job security/opportunity.

According to you, what role does your department play in the overall operational health of the organization?

In the context of a bank, compliance operates at two levels:

Level 1 – Implement the instructions and directives of regulators and the external rules that are imposed upon an organisation as a whole;

Level 2 – Compliance with internal systems of control that are imposed to achieve compliance with the externally imposed rules.

In detail, what the compliance department does is:

  • Identifies the risks that the organisation faces;
  • Designs, develops and implements controls to protect the organisation from those risks;
  • Monitors and reports the effectiveness of these controls;
  • Resolves compliance difficulties in the organization;
  • Builds a culture of compliance and advises the business on rules and controls.

What advise do you have for organizations to balance business and compliance priorities?

Compliance is expensive, but noncompliance can cost even more!

How did the FCAP Training contribute to your overall learning and development objective?

The FCAP Training provided me with a good advanced level introduction and contextual understanding of AML/CFT concepts and helped me learn about the best practices in combating money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing.