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Arab Bank contributes to strengthening the compliance function within Jordan Banks

17 Mar, 2008

At the request of the Association of Banks (Jordan), Arab Bank Global Director of Group Regulatory Compliance, Mr. Mohammad Dabbour, led a one day training workshop "Compliance Function in Banks" on 10 March 2008. The event, hosted at the Association, was attended by more than 40 compliance professionals including Central Bank of Jordan staff, members of the Association, and representatives from banks operating in Jordan. Dr. Adli Kandah, Director General of the Association and event sponsor, welcomed attendees and expressed his appreciation to Arab Bank and all session attendees for their participation and commitment to further strengthening bank compliance.

Arab Bank Global Head of Group Regulatory Compliance, Mr. Michael Matossian, provided opening remarks and shared his thoughts regarding the role of risk-based compliance within banks and the importance of looking beyond minimum regulatory requirements, enhancing bank processes, and integrating leading compliance practices to increase compliance program effectiveness while maintaining a customer focus. Mr. Matossian stated that "Compliance should be regarded as a positive factor contributing to the expansion of business and not seen as a restriction or constraint, but rather as the implementation of a set of values that should be adopted by all staff, whatever their level of responsibility." Emphasizing the importance of ethics to compliance, Mr. Matossian remarked that "our actions are based on our values and need to do the right thing, applying not only the letter, but the spirit of both internal and external standards and procedures."

The workshop highlighted the importance of establishing an independent compliance function taking into consideration a variety of factors including bank size, complexity, geography, as well as products and services; Mr. Dabbour noted that in building a compliance program “one size does not fit all.” During the course of the day, Mr. Dabbour discussed the key elements of a compliance program, as well as the roles and responsibilities of related parties. Further, the opportunity was used to share tools and approaches to formally and consistently track compliance risk, map governing regulations to bank products, and define associated mitigating controls, acknowledging risk identification and monitoring as critical to an effective compliance function.