AML Compliance: An Inevitable Burden


When it comes to compliance, people often feel taken aback, under investigation and asked for way too sensitive and confidential information. As a result, the Compliance Department is often viewed as one of the most disliked departments in a company. It is often disliked by employees and clients alike, and ‘compliance’ gets everyone’s eyes rolling.

Compliance officers are regularly seen as demanding and overly strict. They have to enforce rules and regulations, which can be perceived as intrusive and restrictive. They always require documentation or other proof of compliance, which can feel like an extra burden, and most of the time slows down the process with too much red tape and bureaucracy imposed, making it difficult to get things done. As a result, some may find themselves reluctant or unwilling to comply with the rules and regulations set forth by an organisation’s Compliance Department.

Despite all the negativity, the Compliance Department is an important part of any organisation. The department’s primary role is to protect the company from legal and regulatory risks and is responsible for ensuring that the organisation is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations, and Compliance is often the first line of defence in protecting a company.

While anti-money laundering (AML) procedures can be burdensome and time-consuming for businesses and their employees, the risks associated with non-compliance can be severe. The regulator may impose substantial fines, or even criminal charges, for failing to comply with AML procedures. Additionally, businesses may suffer reputational damage, as well as financial losses if they are found to violate AML regulations. Neither the client nor the organisation wishes to go under the regulator’s radar or the relevant authority’s radar. Therefore, compliance procedures should not be interpreted as a long list of burdens, but as an enabler for better business.

It is inevitable for example to want to receive administrative services or assistance in a financial/real estate transaction and not to be willing to cooperate with the compliance department of the regulated firm in the relevant anti-money laundering procedures.

All in all, AML regulations are here and have no intentions of going anywhere anytime soon. Money laundering is a serious crime that must be taken seriously; therefore, it is important for everyone to understand the importance of adherence to AML regulations, and to maintain a culture of compliance within their organisation and with their clients.

The content of this article is valid as at the date of its first publication. It is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you seek professional advice on your specific matter before acting on any information provided. For further information or advice, please contact Pana Engrafou, Head of Compliance, via tel. 25363685 or email pana.engrafou@kyprianou.com