Meet Chanditha Herath – AML Analyst, FCS Compliance

Find out more about the AML experts at FCS. In this interview, FCS PR Director, Alison Blease introduces you to Chanditha Herath…

Today I’m joined by Chanditha Herath who I believe is about to celebrate his one-year anniversary as an AML Analyst at FCS Compliance. Welcome Chanditha and congratulations on the anniversary!

Thank you!

So tell me how’s your first year working for the company been?

Really good thank you. It’s a great company to be a part of – there’s so much knowledge and expertise within the team and working in a sector that’s constantly evolving, means you never stop learning.

Tell me a little bit about your background and how you ended up at FCS:

Once I’d finished studying – [Chanditha has both an MBA and postgraduate diploma in management studies] – I joined the telecommunications sector, which as you’re probably aware is open to financial frauds and data breaches, therefore, highly scrutinized. Because of the many financial products including insurance, and loan agreements that are attached to it, it is a sector that is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

I worked firstly for Virgin Media, and this is where I developed my leadership, management, customer service and more importantly compliance skills and later joined Vodafone in a compliance & management role.  Here I was responsible for carrying out AML/KYC ( Know Your Customer) checks on relevant clients, fraud investigations, audit checks, risk assessments, training team members, and implementing policies & procedures to comply with FCA guidelines.

It sounds like a good grounding for what you’re doing now.

Yes definitely!

You joined FCS a year ago and what’s your role in the business?

It’s really varied, although carrying out Client Due Diligence (CDD) and liaising between agents and their clients is one of my primary roles.  But I also – as we all do – take turns in manning the AML hotline which can throw up any number of questions.

This is when having such breadth and depth of expertise within the team really comes into its own. It’s a fast-changing environment and we’re a nimble team, good at adapting quickly.

I often find myself dealing with complex issues, such as entities with opaque ownership structures, queries related to sanctions, adverse media, overseas PEPs, or advising on how agents should approach AML matters with their own clients. Cases can be complex when there are overseas trusts or high-risk individuals involved but the service we provide really is end-to-end.  And our aim is to ensure that all our clients are fully AML compliant.                                                             

And if that wasn’t enough to keep you busy, I hear you’re studying too?

Yes, I’m currently studying for a professional compliance qualification – the ICA (International Compliance Association) which I hope to finish in May. Although I’m planning on taking further qualifications in Know Your Customer (KYC) and CDD.   The business is encouraging and supportive of professional development, which I really like. 

It sounds as though you really enjoy your work.

I do and the team, with their wealth of knowledge and support, is a big part of that. From a professional standpoint, they really are the best in the business – and you can’t say better than that!

One final question, which I ask everyone.  What is the one piece of AML advice you’d share?

It’s really simple, make sure you’re compliant from the beginning. AML compliance is not optional, so please complete your anti-money laundering checks before taking your client on board.  It’s so much easier for everyone if we’re involved in the very early stages.  Remember we’re here to help and protect agents and their businesses.

Thank you for your time today Chanditha – and happy anniversary!

Thank you!