August 20, 2019: A seminar on National Risk Assessment (NRA) was conducted by Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU), Government of Pakistan in order to create awareness among the stakeholders with regard to National Risk Assessment (NRA) – ‘Threats & Vulnerabilities’. More than 200 participants from the Financial Sector including Banking, Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), Exchange Companies, Asset Management Companies, Brokerage Houses, Insurance, Modaraba Companies and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professionals (DNFBPs) including Chartered Accountants, Cost and Management Accountants participated in the session. In addition to that the senior officials from State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Mutual Funds Association and Modaraba Companies Association also attended the seminar.

The proceedings was started with the recite of Holy Quran by Mr. Abdul Wahid, Director, FMU. Syed Mansoor Ali, ex-Director General (DG), FMU / ex-NRA Coordinator, then briefed the participants about the NRAs 2017. He highlighted the major areas identified in as well as the issues faced by FMU in conducting the previous NRAs. He also appreciated the participation by the stakeholders in the previous NRA exercises conducted on Money Laundering(ML) and Terrorist Financing (TF) and hoped that the stakeholders will provide their utmost participation in the national cause.

Mr. M. Shahid Ashraf, National Coordinator for Risk Assessment of Money Laundering, then briefed the participants about the objectives of the seminar. He explained the role and importance of each stakeholder in the NRA exercise and expectation from them regarding fair assessment of ML/TF threats and vulnerabilities faced by the country. NRA coordinator than briefed about the major threats and vulnerabilities and shared the data of crime. He also emphasized that non-reporting of a crime does not mean non-existence of a crime. The criminals, if not caught, will launder the proceeds of crime, by exploiting the vulnerable sectors. Therefore, rating of vulnerabilities need to be based on inherent risk instead of residual risk.

Mr. Muhammad Khalid, Senior Joint Director, BPRD, SBP highlighted the need and importance of the NRA Exercise. He discussed the major risks identified during the last assessments by Asian Pacific Group (APG) and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) during their reports. He briefed the participants about the Trans-national and Cross-border transactions, which are among the major threats the country is facing. He also informed the participants about the major initiatives taken by SBP with regard to Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing during the years 2018 & 2019.

ML Threats, Sectoral and National Vulnerabilities assessment was conducted on individual, group and cross-functional basis. The participants actively participated in the exercise and provided their expert opinion based on detailed deliberation amongst themselves.

At the end, Mr. M. Shahid Ashraf, appreciated and thanked the audience for their active participation. He conveyed to the participants that it was just a first step towards NRA and such sessions would be conducted in future to evaluate the risks on continuous basis.