CENTRAL bank governor John Mangudya says local banks have reached acceptable levels in the implementation of Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act requirements.

Government put in place the anti-money laundering law last year in a bid to tackle illicit financial flows after over US$3 billion was externalised and to comply with international anti-money laundering laws.

Mangudya said going forward, the Reserve Bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit would be moving to ensure compliance by DNFBPs, (banks and designated non-financial businesses and professions), including through invocation of administrative penalties prescribed under the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act.

“The bank calls upon all stakeholders with various roles in the fight against money laundering, including agencies involved in the identification, investigation and prosecution of money laundering cases, to work diligently to improve the effectiveness of the country’s AML/CFT regime,” he said.

Zimbabwe is party to various international legal instruments that require countries to put in place robust frameworks for anti-money laundering efforts and to counter the financing of terrorism to prevent the financial system from being misused by criminals.

He said DNFBPs, including lawyers, accountants, estate agents, casinos and precious stone and precious metal dealers, play a key role in identifying and reporting suspected cases of money laundering and related criminal activity within the financial system.

Mangudya said the bank was aware that cyber risk will keep changing due to the evolution of cyber threats in the country and indeed across the globe.

He said financial institutions and individuals are increasingly being exposed to cyber-attacks which have become more sophisticated, frequent, targeted and difficult to identify.

“The (Reserve) Bank urges payment services providers and banks board of directors and senior management to; i. Intensify their efforts and take responsibility for setting, overseeing the strategy and ensure that cyber risks are accorded due consideration; ii. Update cyber security policies, strategies and frameworks and submit the same to the Central Bank by 31 March 2019; iii. Ensure that Information Technology (IT) objectives include maintaining the capacity to effectively anticipate, identify and recover from cyber security attacks for overall IT resilience; and iv. Immediately make a report whenever an institution becomes aware of cyber security incidences within its system which adversely impact on the customers or the ecosystem,” he said.Source – the independent