More than half of MENA businesses face new financial crime risks - Refinitiv

More than half of MENA businesses face new financial crime risk challenges triggered by the pandemic, a new report by global data provider Refinitiv revealed.

A report titled ‘The Financial Crime in MENA 2021’ said 51 percent of respondents face new risk challenges; one quarter, or 25 percent say that a data breach poses the most significant risk.

More than a third (34 percent) cite problems associated with data management as the key reason for investing in technology.

Growth in digitalisation has led to increased risk of cybercrime, according to Refinitiv.

“COVID-19 put an enormous burden on the risk and compliance functions in a very short amount of time, said Phil Cotter, Global Head, Customer & 3rd Party Risk Solutions, Data & Analytics, Refinitiv.

“The rapid growth in digitalisation during the pandemic has inevitably created opportunities for criminals and fraudsters.

“The risk and compliance functions across MENA are now faced with the rapidly evolving threat of cybercrime, including payments fraud, account takeovers and identity theft.”

Business leaders need to focus on these risk factors by deploying advanced technologies to tackle financial crime which will enhance compliance effectiveness and protect corporate reputation, he said.

Nadim Najjar, Managing Director Middle East & Africa (MEA), Data & Analytics, London Stock Exchange Group, said there had been increasing focus on the need for improved data management due to both the pandemic and regulatory change.

“Now, both local start-ups and regional corporations realise the significance of deploying effective data strategies,” he said.

“This growing interest in a data-first approach has expanded the detection and prevention capacity of compliance officers. Data management programs are now driving technology investments in the region. This is a trend that we expect to continue as more regulation adds to the complexity of doing business across MENA jurisdictions.”




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