Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to assess the role of Money Laundering Reporting Officers (MLROs) in combating money laundering in Zambia's commercial banks. Design/methodology/approach – Questionnaires were administered to MLROs in all commercial banks in Zambia as well as guided oral interviews. Findings – The paper found that commercial banks in Zambia have generally complied with the Bank of Zambia AML directives of 2004 and they have taken AML laws and regulations very seriously. Support from senior management and board of directors is overwhelming. AML activities, in most banks, are incorporated in compliance departments and bank operations. However, some MLROs are not adequately trained and qualified to meet the demands of their positions. Further, some external factors have impacted negatively on the performance of MLRO. These factors include lack of feedback from the Anti‐Money Laundering Investigations Unit (AMLIU) and the snail's pace at which investigations are carried out. Practical implications – The implications of these findings is that commercial banks should invest more resources in training MLROs and ensure that they are elevated to international standards. Such standards include certifications as money laundering experts. Originality/value – MLROs are key to the AML regime all over the world. It is hoped that this study will encourage similar studies in other countries, particularly in Africa.
Journal of Investment Compliance – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 13, 2011
Keywords: Money laundering; Commercial banks; Zambia