LASCO Financial Services Limited (LFSL) has announced plans to automate its compliance monitoring systems in a bid to further detect and prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.
The announcement follows the suspension of at least six Western Union agents, one its leading competitors, as the remittance operator sought to combat fraud across its network.
Managing Director Jacinth Hall-Tracey in a joint statement with Lascelles Chin told shareholders that the company’s board of directors fully endorses the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Framework which has been put in place by management to detect and prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.
As such, the company which deals primarily in remittances via MoneyGram, has increased spend on training for board members, management, staff and agents.
“It’s a necessary investment to ensure that our company does not inadvertently conduct business with money launderers. In the coming financial year, we will embark upon a project to automate our compliance monitoring systems which will further improve our capabilities,” Hall-Tracey said.
The LFSL compliance programme is designed to mitigate loss of branches, agent locations, bank accounts and ultimately loss of business.
The company closed the 2017 financial year with net profit of $187.7 million, eight per cent lower than the previous year. Revenues, however, grew by 23 per cent or $200 million to close the year at $1 billion.
Total assets grew by 35 per cent to $1.5 billion.
LFSL is now focused on the development of its loans division and has hired industry veteran, Frank Whylie, who will head the division as general manager.
“We anticipate that this move will begin manifesting its results by financial year end 2018. While we develop the loans business, we do not intend to lose sight of the remittance business,” Tracey-Hall said.