Tag: banking training program

06 Feb 2023
banking training to prevent antimoney laundering

Can banking training help in antimoney laundering? 

With the international environment in a precarious state, the banks must work hard and impart banking training to ensure they keep up with the antimoney laundering laws.

The black or illegal money is often earned through nefarious activities such as extortion and drug smuggling. Money laundering ensures that the black money seems to originate from legal proceeds.

Banking training must ensure that the bank employees know about money laundering.

Hence, banks and financial institutions must ensure that such money does not enter their systems. The banks must have a complete idea of where the money submitted into their bank accounts has come from.

The Bank Secrecy Act is important for banks to follow to prevent this money from getting legalized. As per this Act, all the national banks and branches of foreign banks must maintain records including name, date of birth, address etc. about their customers. When such records are maintained, no problems arise for banks. The banks must also verify such information some time after an account has been opened with them.

Going further, there are three stages to money laundering, placement, layering, and integration

Placement        

In the first stage of money laundering, placement which involves depositing money into banks so that it enters the financial system of a country, the criminals deposit that money into small amounts in different accounts so that it does not invoke any suspicion.

It’s because the government has prohibited deposits of large amounts to prevent any money laundering. It’s the job of the banking officials to check whether the invoices and receipts of money are original or not. Hence the first stage of placement of money laundering requires banks to be extra cautious about the origin of funds.

Therefore the banking training must ensure that the banks must do the KYC of the depositors before allowing them to open bank accounts.

Layering  

In the second stage of money laundering, called the layering, the criminals introduce illegal foreign currency into another country. In the second stage, they use the money to buy such businesses in another country. The holding period of deposits in bank accounts is a tactic to ensure that the depositors don’t withdraw the money before a period of 5 days has elapsed since opening the account.

They buy such businesses, because the criminals can show their black money proceeds to be occurring from casinos and hotels because these sources often generate a large amount of revenue. They can also show fake companies through which they have received such money, i.e., through the sales of their products or services. 

Integration 

Integration is the last stage of the money laundering business; in this stage, the criminals introduce money back into the economy. They buy real estate in a country. For example, they have to prove that they are buying this real estate with legal money and show fake purchase receipts.

The criminals withdraw the money from the local bank accounts of a foreign country and then buy letters of credit, bonds, and money orders with it. They lend that money to someone and, in exchange, get a letter of credit. Integration can also be done by purchasing luxury goods; e.g., someone can buy jewelry in another country to be sold later.

Apart from luxury goods, they could also transfer this money to a terrorist organization. 

To prevent this, for example, the UK anti-money laundering laws have prohibited withdrawing 10,000 Euros. This rule has established that the money which has originated from the terrorist countries can’t be withdrawn to the maximum of 10,000 Euros in one transaction. This law applies to all financial institutions across European Union.

If any financial institution disobeys such laws, it’s penalized by the European banking authority, which has set this law. If the money of this amount is withdrawn, it’s immediately reported to the authorities, and action is taken. 

How can banking training stop anti-money laundering? 

  • Get rid of obsolete technology:

Technology can be quite useful to banks in preventing money laundering. For example, all the banks should use similar kinds of technologies, and their systems should be integrated with one another. Integrating the data is tough when one bank operates on a different technology, like spreadsheets, and one on another, such as ledgers. Hence all banks should use cloud software to prevent such problems.

  • Research about the customer: 

Apart from the KYC process, the banks must also carry out due diligence on the customer. This implies that the information given by the customer is checked against the database. Such databases include those people who have been banned from conducting transactions in any country by their own governments. They are included in international watch Lists created by several governments. The banks must check these lists before allowing customers to open an account. 

  • Screening of weird transactions:

Banks must also check the size of transactions between them and another bank. If the transaction is more than a certain amount, they must stop it immediately. If the bank cannot regulate such transactions in time, it has to pay heavy fines. Apart from checking the size of such transactions, it must also detect who is the recipient of such funds, which could be a terrorist organization. Any black money criminal might be making such a transfer of funds earned through his so-called legitimate activities, and the bank must keep a check on it. 

  • Suspicious activity report:

Banking training for antimony laundering must involve training such officers to screen transactions of more than the permitted amount. They must also be updated with the new methods adopted by criminals to carry out transactions.

The Employees must be trained in an AML compliance program which ensures that they know how to prepare a suspicious activity report. This report has to be provided to apex financial authorities if any conspicuous transaction has happened in a bank. The transaction might not violate antimony laundering laws, but it still must be brought to the government’s notice.

This is how banks can prevent any money laundering and severe punishment by keeping due checks on transactions and their customers.

29 Dec 2021
banking training program

Do banks require a banking training program? If yes, why?

The pandemic has forced businesses to alter the way they conduct operations. It had the same effect on banks also that had to reskill employees because they had no other option when the customers were not willing to come in person. The banks also can’t afford to fire redundant employees because their operations need individuals with integrity. The banking employees have to be hired after rigorous criminal checks, due to which frequent hiring is not possible. Apart from that, employees are hired after testing them for mathematical aptitude and English comprehension skills.

Hence, banks have to reskill such employees by keeping a close watch on the changing trends. You can conduct tests with employees to know the skill gaps required for fulfilling crucial business goals.

Banks also have to check whether the training program they are looking to implement matches the needs of the trainees, whether they want a hybrid or an online solution.

An online banking training program is of two types, one of which is related to banking operations such as handling checks, checking whether the currency or the check submitted for deposits is counterfeit or not.

The second category of such programs includes elucidating on the business etiquette and the latest regulatory compliance rules.

Why is a banking training program required?

  • Lack of employees:

The training of employees can be done with employees from other departments, for example; customer service representatives(CSR) can be trained with the Operations employees so that the former can enhance their knowledge of banking services. The latter can improve their communication skills and hence can deal with customers when there is a shortage of CSR.

  • Training freshers with different educational backgrounds:

Banks need to have scalable training content, too, which can be provided to a larger number of employees when the need emerges. Hence, they should have training resources for online mode also when the new employees can’t attend training physically.

The training content should be reusable so that changes can be made to it as per the modifications in compliance laws. The main problem before taking up a banking training program is that it needs to be specific. There have to be different programs for new and old employees, where the former need onboarding but the latter need upskilling for better roles. Hence, the challenge lies with the e-learning companies USA, who have to prepare training material as per employees.

Onboarding is also tougher for freshers who have the relevant degrees but don’t know the exact duties of their job role. In India, a banking training program is a must because the graduates in different streams are hired. Thus, such programs teach the fundamentals of banking to non-commerce graduates and about the proprietary banking software to those who are not accustomed to working with IT.

The employees can be taught about the banking infrastructure, which can make them work better. So recruits can be taken through simulations where they can be shown how banking employees work in conjunction with each other to make things happen.

A banking training program is also vital for employees because when there is a hike in demand for services, they can easily adapt to different roles. It’s because a banking training program teaches graduate freshers different skills including business, communication, and software skills.

Divisional training is also part of a banking program because new employees might be working in different departments of the bank such as commercial banking and investment banking etc.

  • Training employees for quality and not quantity :

Banks also have to check whether the employees are performing reliably and are not committing mistakes due to the pressure of working at speed. This can cause a lot of problems for the bank because any unintentional error with the customers’ money can cause them to pay for damages and lose customer credibility. Hence, even if employees are doing their work at a pace, they should be trained to double-check their data entries before pressing the “SUBMIT” Button.

It’s better that the repetitive tasks should be delegated to AI-based software, since the employees can commit mistakes if working quickly.

AI is also helping banks to carry out the tasks of record-keeping efficiently. Banking employees are also faced with lesser work due to the implementation of AI. They can put their attention into creative tasks, such as suggesting ways to customers to save profitably.

How can banks make employees imbibe knowledge from such programs?

Banks have to ensure that the employees attend such programs, which can happen when it’s a must for staying hired. However, employees also have to be rewarded for learning from these programs by introducing metrics to measure an employee’s learning. Whenever an employee scores the highest marks on a quiz, it can be informed to everyone else in the organization.

Every quiz should have a level attached to it. But these quizzes must be related to credit-based courses, such as teaching employees about how to handle loan requests based on a borrowers’ credibility assessed from his tax return and other financial statements, etc.

There can be different such courses for banking employees who make decisions to lend to high worth borrowers and conventional borrowers, such as those for home loans etc. Evaluating the creditworthiness of borrowers is important because any loan default means a loss for the bank. Hence, the documents such as tax returns need to be checked whether a borrower has enough salaried and non-salaried incomes for the requested loan amount.

A banking training program also helps employees in judging that if the collateral is getting used for securing the loan, is it enough to recover the dues in the situation of non-repayment.

Hence, a banking training program ensures that employees in such decision-making roles have proper job aids. When employees have completed a banking training program, they also have a scope for career progression in the same bank.

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