Anti-money laundering experts in great demand

Anti-money laundering experts in great demand

PETALING JAYA - Anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-financing terrorism (CFT) experts are in high demand this year, according to an international headhunting firm.

Robert Walters Malaysia financial services and legal associate director Sammie Sam said the demand was driven by the need to regulate terrorism activities and for tighter financial regulations and processes.

"The global banking sector, which has come under close scrutiny because of the crackdown on criminal activities and increasing terrorist threats, is investing hea­vily in AML and CFT functions. This trend is reflected here with shared services centres in Malaysia and Sin­­gapore enhancing their anti-mo­ney laundering functions to support the global requirements," she said.

The hiring trend is based on feedback gathered by the firm's 53 global offices.

"When banks come across suspicious transactions, the case will be investigated at designated hubs," said Sam.

"Fresh graduates can expect a monthly salary of up to RM3,000 (S$1,100) while senior management with 10 years of AML experience can earn an average of RM15,000.

"Potential candidates must assess and investigate transactions to safeguard the bank through policy enhancements, tighter mo­­ni­­toring processes and detailed background checks."

As there was a lack of ready talent, employers were willing to hire and train fresh graduates, she added.

"Qualifications in business, ac­counting, statistics or mathematics are relevant but even those with engineering backgrounds have been considered because they have the fundamental skills required," she said when releasing the company's 2015 salary survey.

Robert Walters Malaysia country manager Sally Raj said IT job advertising rose 60 per cent from the third quarter of 2013 to the same period in 2014 while accounting and finance job advertising in­­creased by 58 per cent.

Besides the shortage of com­pliance and risk management professionals in the finance and banking sectors, Islamic banking and tax professionals experienced in Goods and Services Tax were also in high demand, she added.

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