1. REPRESENTATIVE COMMITTEE MEETINGS
These meetings are being held to discuss and review the most common issues in the industry. Normally, these meetings are organized once every two months. The meetings are represented by 11 RC members, 2 reserved members and 5 Sub-Committee Members.
2. TRAININGS & WORKSHOPS
- Basic and advanced trainings on AML & CTF
One of FERG’s most important objectives is to help its members build a strong framework around compliance by conducting regular training programs on AML & CTF. These training programs mainly focus on acknowledging the much needed awareness regarding the prevalent laws of AML and introduce them to all DO’s and DON’Ts regarding money laundering and compliance to organizational, national and international protocol-setting bodies. These training programs have been highly appreciated by all member organizations, especially the smaller exchange houses that may not have the required expertise of a full-fledged training department.
- Trainings on identifying counterfeit currencies and fraud prevention
A hands-on course which aims at making the attendees aware about various modus operandi used in order to plan fraudulent activities. We also give an in-depth understanding of the local currency (UAE Dirham) as well as foreign currencies commonly traded in the UAE, hence enabling participants to identify the genuine currency from fake ones. “Commitment to Procedures” also forms a major part of this course.
Since its inception, FERG has trained over 3100 participants from various member and non-member exchange houses. Approximately 600 to 700 participants are being trained every year. This initiative of FERG has been praised across the industry, thus ensuring we are able to fulfill a long-term goal of sharing the best industry-wide practices with all its member and non-member exchange organizations.
3. AML SUBCOMMITTEE MEETINGS & AML / OPERATION HEADS MEET
AML is a key component of the money exchange and remittance business, and the business environment has changed in the past few years with much stricter laws and scrutiny imposed on financial services - more specifically on the money exchange and remittance businesses. There have been many challenges in tackling these issues, among which is the fight against terrorist financing.
The need of the hour was addressed by forming a separate team of compliance officers of the members, to meet on a regular basis and share their views, business practices, challenges they’ve faced and how they’d overcome these situations. This had benefited many of the smaller companies. The purpose of these meetings is to share the best AML practices, practical issues in day to day operations, common frauds, precautionary measures, etc. Subcommittee meetings are being held once every three months. On the other hand, AML/Operations meetings are organized annually in which senior officials from UAE’s Central Bank are also present to share their knowledge.
4. IT SUBCOMMITTEE MEETINGS
With the increase in cybercrime globally and within the UAE, FERG members agreed to form a subcommittee comprising of IT professionals originating from the member companies, with an objective to discuss all current challenges technology faces nowadays and solving specific threats to the money exchange industry. The subcommittee meets on a frequent basis to share the best practices followed with various recommendations to be implemented by members across the country.
5. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGS
The Annual General Body meetings are held every year and all FERG members are invited to review all of the group’s activities in the past year and discuss any future plans. As part of the AGM, the respective year’s financial situation is presented to the members, followed by next year’s budget. The expenses are reviewed and approved during this meeting. Normally, it is conducted at the end of every year.
6. SEMINARS & CONFERENCES
FERG facilitates seminars and conferences conducted in the UAE for international remittance companies, to enable members of the group to remain informed about the latest updates in the industry.
FERG participated at Dubai’s Sibos 2013 in order to increase visibility as well as highlight global banking partners on all the initiatives carried out by the group, including the active role played in AML initiatives and steps taken by the group in combating terrorist financing, in the implementation of the WPS initiative of UAE’s Central Bank, in association with the Ministry of Labor.
7. SHARING INFORMATION/ALERTS ON FRAUDS
FERG always assured to maintain a close relationship with UAE’s police and CID departments. The group works together with these departments and assists them in their requirements. On a similar note, FERG members are encouraged to share the details of any fraud attempts in order to alert other members to take appropriate measures and support them to avoid similar attempts, thus minimizing possible losses. All stated activities are maintained with high confidentiality.