Company Secretaries play an important role in protecting the firm's financial health as well as the integrity of Malaysia's financial system, in no small part, by ensuring compliance with anti-money laundering laws in Malaysia. Anti-money laundering (AML) laws are in place to prevent the illegal activity of money laundering from taking place. These laws are put in place to protect the integrity of the financial system and to prevent the financing of terrorist activities.
As a company secretary, it is important to understand and comply with the provisions of the AMLA and its regulations. This includes ensuring that the company has in place a robust AML compliance program and that all employees are trained on the AML laws, regulations and company policies.
One of the key responsibilities of the company secretary is to ensure that the company has in place a customer due diligence (CDD) program. CDD is the process of identifying and verifying the identity of customers. This includes obtaining and verifying identification documents such as passports or national ID cards. Avid AML eKYC onboarding app streamlines the onboarding process making it easier for staff and customers.
Another important responsibility of the company secretary is to ensure that the company has in place a sanctions screening program. This includes screening customers and transactions against sanctions lists such as the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions list, the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions list, and domestic lists. Avid AML includes; Ministry of Home Affairs, Corruption Offenders & Investor Alert lists. Avid AML have designed a user friendly and affordable Sanctions Screening tool to streamline and simplify the sanction screening process.
It is important to note that non-compliance with AML laws and regulations can result in severe penalties for both the company and the individuals involved. This includes fines, imprisonment and even revocation of licences.
In conclusion, as a company secretary, it is important to understand and comply with the provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA) and its regulations in Malaysia. This includes ensuring that the company has in place a robust AML compliance program, customer due diligence program, sanctions screening program, and risk-based approach to AML compliance. The company secretary must also ensure that the company’s AML compliance program is audited on a regular basis and that any issues or deficiencies identified during the audit are promptly addressed.