Khumo Motsisi, Head of Operations and AML Analyst, Clarency Singapore Pte. Ltd
1. What has the journey looked like working in AML?
Enlightening. Frustrating. I’ve found myself lost and at a loss. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been on both the giving and receiving end in this journey.
2. And what part of what’ve learnt has helped or lead to your current role?
Keep an open mind. Suspend prejudice.
3. Is this something you’ve consciously worked towards, or saw as an opportunity to gain more experience in the AML sector and your AML journey?
There was no plan or intention to be part of the AML journey. There was an opportunity for me to learn about payments, and in between there were small opportunities which I embraced which somehow led me to AML.
4. What are some of the biggest challenges, in your opinion, businesses and people face with AML?
Rigidity on the part of the business. Businesses indiscriminately follow the rules without context. Lack of understanding/education on the part of client/customer. Lay-people don’t know why they subjected to regulations they don’t even know exist. It creates a bad experience all round.
And does this differ from industry-to-industry?
I don’t think so. Whatever the industry, there are rules and regulations. They must be followed and adhered to. The challenges remain.
5. Do you think there is a lack of understanding or confusion with AML?
YES!! I think there are those in the industry that think AML is about risk avoidance. It trips me up! This type of thinking marginalises whole industries and countries, not just the criminals and those with dubious intentions. It has a devastating impact on those that the industry’s purpose was created to protect.
And what can those in the industry do better, in your opinion?
I think it’s not just those in the industry but also other industries feeding into AML. Everyone could be better communicators both internally and externally.
What are or is the biggest positive change you’ve seen?
I’m still too new to be able to note any changes that have taken place within the industry. I just appreciate that it exists and when used right it can be inclusive of the people that need the services, not just protect the ones that look right. People have recourse
7. During your career have there been standout people who’ve motivated and mentored you?
A previous boss and my current boss :D. In the AML space it’s my current boss – he has extensive knowledge on the subject and he’s guided me through it all. I’m always learning from my younger colleagues who are also in AML space. A fresh perspective is important.
How did they, if at all, impact where you are now?
Whatever industry exists it’s made of people. People first. My younger colleagues are all about logic, sense and passion.
8. What are your top tips/ suggestions for those looking to further their journey in this sector?
Be curious. Learn how to communicate. Apply your mind!
For more interviews from those working in the AML industry take a look at Harpreet Jagdev's journey from Criminology student to Group Head of Risk & Deputy Head of Compliance at Choice Group.