FAQs about online anti-money laundering courses
What is money laundering?
Money laundering refers to the processes that drug traffickers, terrorists, prostitution rings, cyberattackers, and other dangerous actors use to disguise the origins of their money to make it look like it came from a legitimate source. Their goal is to avoid having their money seized by law enforcement agencies and to avoid being detected for evading taxes.
Because banks and other financial institutions require clients to disclose how large amounts of money were obtained, criminals are forced to hide their sources by funneling money through legitimate sources in order to cleanse their trail. In many cases, they weave elaborate webs of intrigue involving complicated corporate structures, unusual real estate investments, or exotic locations in places with minimal law enforcement, known as tax havens.
What is anti-money laundering training?
Companies in just about every sector can serve as vital links in the money laundering chain, whether wittingly or unwittingly. With the correct training and risk awareness, every worker can break the chain and cut off the link that criminals and terrorists need to fund their enterprises.
Anti-money laundering training provides users with an overview of money laundering, including the laws and offences related to money laundering, explain how their organisation could inadvertently be used in the money laundering chain, and make them aware of who to contact in the event of any suspicions.
The best kind of training will be one that is designed with relevance at the forefront, meaning that every user who takes the training will receive tailor-made content specifically designed for their jurisdiction, job role, risk level and specific industry they work in.
What are the key elements of a good AML training program?
Training can come in different shapes and styles but there are some key elements that should always be included. Here are some of the key elements of a successful AML training program:
- A definition and overview of what money laundering is, the three stages of money laundering (placement, layering, integration) and how it occurs
- An introduction to common types of money laundering; for example: cash-intensive businesses, shell companies, money mules, foreign accounts, investments, smurfing, digital tools
- An explanation of how money laundering can affect you and your business
- An overview of current anti-money laundering legislation and regulations in one’s local jurisdiction and other relevant jurisdictions
- An explanation of how to comply with money laundering laws and relevant procedures to follow, for example Client Due Diligence (CDD) (also known as Know Your Client, or KYC)
- How to spot and what to do about potential red flags, including large transactions, UBOs, Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), high risk countries, and others
- How to report suspicions
- Penalties for violations
- An assessment for users to test their understanding and retention of the material
Why is AML training important?
Committing or being involved in a money laundering offence, even indirectly, can result in prison terms of two to 14 years, unlimited fines, or both, depending on the type of violation.
The information users gain in the training will help them protect themselves and their companies from knowingly or unknowingly being involved in money-laundering related crime.
Who is required to have an anti-money laundering program?
All financial institutions are required to use a risk-based approach to screen all clients and transactions for possible money-laundering concerns.
A risk-based approach means that the level of due diligence done is decided based on the level of risk. Low-risk clients are given basic compliance checks while those with higher perceived risk are investigated more thoroughly.
Which employees should be trained in AML?
Since money laundering risks can affect businesses in just about every sector, all staff should be trained on anti-money laundering procedures, whether they have a higher or lower exposure to money laundering risks. Of course, training should be tailored to one’s level of risk exposure.
How often is anti-money laundering training required?
At a minimum, staff must be trained at least once every two years on money laundering. However, there are a number of factors that trigger an additional need for training.
- When staff join the business
- When staff move to a new job
- When staff change roles in an organisation
- When a change happens in the legislation
- When a change in the level of risk occurs
VinciWorks recommends that all staff undertake money laundering training annually, with higher-risk staff undergoing refresher training after six months.
How do you train on AML?
Staff training should include procedures to spot and deal with situations that suggest a heightened money laundering risk. Higher risk accounts and customers will require staff dealing with them to undergo enhanced, more detailed or more frequent training, or both.
How long does AML training take?
The length of the training can vary, depending on the course. VinciWorks offers a range of courses ranging from 5 minutes to 1.5 hours! Each course begins with a course builder to deliver the most relevant training to each user. From 5 minute knowledge checks, to 20-30 minute refresher courses, from a 30 minute course covering the basics, to 45 minutes - 1.5 hours long in depth courses for staff who have a higher-risk exposure to money laundering, as well as additional options, there is something for everyone.
When I finish the course, will I receive a certificate?
Yes, each user that completes the course will receive an instant completion certification by email, as well as a printable pdf course completion certificate that includes their name, the name of the course, and the date of course completion.