Navigating Complexity To Generate Opportunity

The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) promotes the interests of more than 1,700 individual diamond trading companies regulated under Belgium Anti-Money Laundering (AML) legislation in Antwerp. Antwerp’s diamond imports and exports provide a significant boost to the Belgian economy, representing 15% of all Belgian exports outside the EU and 5% of total exports. Since 2015 AWDC has been leading industry efforts to address perceived weaknesses in the local diamond sector's AML framework that in-turn was having material impact on the sectors ability to access banking facilities. AWDC commissioned FINTRAIL to provide a range of assurance and advisory services in order to analyse and address these challenges and generate new opportunity for the diamond traders.

Working in partnership with AWDC, FINTRAIL conducted on-site assurance on a selection of Antwerp based diamond traders to assesses the efficacy of compliance with local AML legislation and international best practise. This included a qualitative review of applicable risks, documentation, onsite interviews, review of Know Your Customer (KYC) files, review of technical systems and supporting process. 

Analysis of information gathered during on-site assurance was used by FINTRAIL to develop the Sustainable Bank Account Access Scheme (SBAAS), an AWDC sponsored industry initiative that aims to provide diamond traders with sustainable access to bank accounts in return for entering a robust voluntary compliance framework. The SBAAS leverages the latest developments in Regulatory Technology (RegTech) to achieve efficiency, applies risk-focused standards and intensive oversight to achieve trust for banking partners and enable diamond traders to focus on building sustainable business. FINTRAIL continue to support AWDC with the deployment of the SBAAS concept.