Hughes Hubbard & Reed’s Paris-based team accompanied BGFIBank DRC through the process of obtaining the AML 30000® certification, an international reference standard on combatting money laundering and terrorist financing (AML-FT).

BGFIBank is a leading bank in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the first sub-Saharan bank to obtain this certification.

For 18 months, a team from the Paris office of Hughes Hubbard & Reed led by Bryan Sillaman and Olivier Dorgans, accompanied BGFIBank DRC through (i) an audit of its AML-FT compliance program, (ii) improvements to its AML-FT compliance and economic sanctions program based on the audit findings, in order to incorporate best market practices and international standards, and (iii) the AML 30000® certification process by the certification body. Their assistance led to the bank being certified as compliant with the AML 30000® standard in December 2020.

The AML 30000® assessment was carried out by Maghreb Corporate (a member of the IWK Group), and the certification was awarded by COFICERT (the Commission for Financial Certifications), two independent bodies which certified that BGFIBank DRC meets the requirements of the AML 30000® standard, as well as best market practices in this area.

Obtaining this certification will help enable BGFIBank DRC to meet the compliance requirements of U.S. and European financial institutions and international investors.

TheAML 30000® certification represents a tremendous opportunity for BGFIBank DRC to participate, alongside global financial institutions and the largest international financial institutions, in the economic and financial development of the Democratic Republic of Congo and West Africa more generally, by raising itself to the highest standards in combatting money laundering and terrorist financing” explained Bryan Sillaman, Managing Partner of Hughes Hubbard & Reed’s Paris office.

We are thrilled to have been able to support BGFIBank DRC’s teams over nearly 18 months in this ambitious compliance project and enable this bank to be the first in West Africa to be AML 30000® certified. This is a significant step forward for the banking system in the DRC and, more generally, sets an example to follow for the entire regional banking ecosystem. We are looking forward to supporting and assisting other stakeholders in the banking sector with this ambitious process and approach in coming years, and we would like to thank the General Management of BGFIBank Group and the General Management of BGFIBank DRC very warmly for the confidence and trust they have shown in us in recent months,” added Olivier Dorgans, Counsel at the Paris office of Hughes Hubbard & Reed.

AML 3000® certification:

The AML 30000® standard certifies the effectiveness of all the technical components of the anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing (AML-FT) system, in particular through:

  • A risk assessment and the application of a risk-based approach;
  • The know-your-client process;
  • Document retention;
  • Reporting of suspicious activity;
  • The quality of internal governance;
  • The adequacy of the human, financial and logistical resources allocated to the system; and
  • The quality of IT solutions [1]

The certification is awarded for a period of 3 years. The certifying body (in this case, Maghreb Corporate) will carry out annual audits to ensure compliance with this standard.

[1] Source: corporate website AML 30000®