By KYLE WALKINE
Tribune Staff Reporter
A local webshop chain has taken the next step in preparing for the industry’s regulation by training all of its employees in anti-money laundering and compliance.
A Sure Win’s Human Resources Manager Kimberly Bodie said the company is training all 185 of its full-time employees as well as its 80 commission-based independent workers so that once the industry is regularised, everyone in the company will be certified to operate under international standards, including the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
“We’re trying to get rid of the stigma that webshops are a haven for money laundering,” Ms Bodie told The Tribune yesterday.
“We’re operating a business with integrity and preparing our employees to look out for any suspicious activity or anything that is criminal. We want these financial institutions who have any doubt about us and what we do to know that we are going to adhere and comply.”
Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson left the country earlier this week to meet with the FATF to ensure that the government’s new web shop legislation meets international standards.
The government has not yet provided an update on the outcome of that meeting.
Web shop legislation is expected to be tabled in Parliament sometime this month, with regulation running retroactive to July 1, according to Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe.
The minister, who also has responsibility for gaming, insisted the delay in the tabling of web shop legislation is because the government is ensuring that all international requirements for the industry are met.
Ms Bodie said A Sure Win’s company training is “expensive”, but free of charge to the employees. She added that it is important for the employees to receive this type of training because once the industry is regulated, cashiers will become like bank tellers.
“Web shops are going to become a financial industry, so we’ll more so be operating like a bank,” she said.
“Our cashiers will become tellers. Even right now, as you know, deposits and stuff are happening. So that’s why it’s important for us to train our employees, especially when it comes to Know Your Client (KYC) standards. When accounts are opened we get a copy of their passport information. We want to dispel the myth that web shops will not be in compliance.”
She said the company is currently doing some restructuring that will likely lead to an increase in staff once the industry is regulated.
Once training is complete, the employees become certified compliance officers with training in FATF, AML and KYC service standards, signed by Alisha Thompson, compliance consultant.
Currently the web shop chain has 35 store locations, including three on Abaco, Andros and Eleuthera, as well as 30 independent affiliates.
Ms Bodie said Sure Win is the first web shop in the country to offer such training.