Q2 2023 | norbloc’s newsletter

The last couple of months have been riddled with happenings in the financial world. From stricter regulations in the crypto space looming on us and fines for faulty due diligence, to yet another unsuccessful centralized utility effort.
In case you missed the news, the latest attempt from Swedish banks to create a centralized KYC utility has officially failed. Founded back in 2019 with hopes of creating a joint standard and platform for KYC processes, Invidem is now winding down due to regulatory and technological developments that have “made this task more complex than was anticipated.”

At the same time, norbloc’s decentralized KYC utility in the UAE is thriving. So what has actually led to the collapse of the Nordic KYC Utility and why should banking customers care?

ūüĒóRead¬†what our CEO,¬†Astyanax Kanakakis, has to say about what went wrong and what could have been avoided:

“The sad conclusion of an effort to make bank customers happier (and banks and regulators too!)”

ūüí°Industry news worth reading

The UAE Central Bank has issued new AML/CTF guidance regarding virtual asset providers (VASPs).

Banks, payment companies, exchanges and brokers will have to refine their current KYC processes to comply with more stringent rules; collaboration with VASPs without a national license is now prohibited; to open an account, entities will have to submit a case-by-case request to the Central Bank for non-objection. 

Furthermore, the guidance calls for:

  • conducting a one time review and¬†risk¬†assessment of the existing customer portfolio and¬†performing risk-based ongoing monitoring,
  • establishing a compliance¬†plan for monitoring customers requiring enhanced due diligence measures, and¬†
  • understanding the nature of the customer‚Äôs business and creating a customer profile.¬†

The FCA published data on the fines handed out so far in 2023 which currently measure up to £29 million.

Concurrently, HM Revenue and Customs has named hundreds of businesses that failed to comply with AML regulations. They have now been fined a total of £3.2 million for breach. 

  • Xpress Money Services Ltd alone has been fined ¬£1.4 million for failing to conduct risk assessments, having inadequate controls and due diligence checks.
  • Another 219 entities have been fined in England alone and risk loosing their license to operate.

Following the latest Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary session, Croatia has now been added to the grey list. Meaning that they require increased monitoring due to deficient AML and CTF processes. This makes Croatia the only European country currently on the list.  

Croatia has made a commitment to improve its regime by:

  • licensing and monitoring the registration of VASPs (in line with the latest FATF report on virtual assets), 
  • enhancing and implementing more effective¬†sanctions¬†in supervisory activities, and¬†
  • improving implementation of preventive measures for high-risk sectors.

ūüďĆ In case you missed it…¬†

The UAE KYC Blockchain Platform grows with the addition of Al Masraf and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

Powered by norbloc’s¬†FIDES, the¬†blockchain-based platform facilitates the secure sharing of e-KYC data. The network, which has been live since 2020, connects licensing authorities, free zones and financial institutions across the Emirates. A single version of each customer file is maintained and shared, ensuring that institutions have access to the most up-to-date data.

Currently, the ecosystem has 16 participating entities and holds more than 60% of the corporate data in the region.

Graham FitzGerald, CEO Al Masraf and Astyanax Kanakakis, CEO and Co-Founder of norbloc signing the agreement.

Graham FitzGerald, CEO Al Masraf and Astyanax Kanakakis, CEO and Co-Founder of norbloc signing the agreement.

norbloc was at the Global RegTech Summit 2023

Institutions such as Citi, HSBC and more, highlighted the importance of building resilient KYC and AML processes without sacrificing customer experience, thinking of the long-term safety of the entity against money laundering, terrorist financing and fraud. 

To that effect, there is great importance in choosing digital solutions today that can grow as an institution grows covering needs not just for this season but for the next 5 to 10 years.

Recently, norbloc was included in¬†FinCrime & Compliance Briefing¬†by¬†Sifted¬†Europe, highlighting norbloc’s scalable end-to-end KYC and AML orchestration platform,¬†SANCUS. This digital platform is fully equipped with¬†identity¬†verification, AML checks and risk¬†reporting¬†functionalities to fortify regulated entities against financial crime in a day and age of ever more complex regulatory requirements and increasingly many fraudsters.

ūü𤋮†Contact us¬†for more on digital transformation of KYC processes.¬†

What should you be considering when choosing between DLT & API connectivity?

As the first-ever¬†RegTech¬†company to successfully implement a live, distributed KYC utility, norbloc’s Head of Implementation,¬†Vijayalakshmi Tenbarai Seshadri¬†along with the norbloc team, have put together a report on¬†DLT¬†vs¬†API¬†Connectivity. Focusing on¬†data¬†sharing, key questions and considerations that financial institutions should be asking to make the right choices for KYC and¬†remediation¬†in the long-term.

Click¬†to find out more from Viji, our Head of Implementation ūüĎá

Careers at norbloc

We’re looking for the next additions to our team:

  • DevOps Software Engineer (Athens, Greece or remote) 
  • Internship position¬†– commercial or product department (Athens, Greece or remote)

Join us as we work to revolutionize secure data sharing!

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