The event, organised jointly with the MFSA and FIAU, attracted 60 delegates drawn from business, accounting, academia and law enforcement to the two-day event. Attendees heard from a diverse range of speakers on a set of topics, including the prevention of money laundering, sanctions fraud and recovering assets from organised criminals. Special focus was also given to Malta, fitting given the location and its growing influence as an international banking centre.
FIB Director and Forum Chairman Pottengal Mukundan commented: “It was an enlightening few days. The feedback from delegates was very positive, and they welcomed our intiative. We had great support from the FIAU and MFSA and I believe this format is something that financial institutions and other similar authorities can benefit from.”
Keynote speaker Barry Rider gave a presentation entitled ‘Financial Crime in Times of Financial Crisis’ where he proposed the eventual abandonment of traditional investigations into financial fraud, where the results to date were poor in cost-benefit terms between money spent on investigating and assets seized.
Paul Vassallo, Superintendent with the Malta Economic Crime Squad spoke on specific problems experienced by the island, whilst Malta FIAU’s CEO Dr Manfred Galdes updated delegates on the latest measures to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing. Elsewhere, Bernd Klose spoke on asset recovery and Andrew Durant provided a forensic accountants’ perspective.
Mr Mukundan continued: “These are interesting times and there is no doubt this is a difficult environment in which to conduct business. The FIB is seeing an increase in many different types of financial fraud being reported all over the world, and the evidence suggests fraudsters are increasingly sharing information about their techniques and their victims. It’s clear that everyone interested in fraud detection and prevention will need to do the same or be at a disadvantage. The Forum proved to be a useful tool to do this.”