Aimee’s CKYCA Story
Aimee Sothcott, ING Client Control Portfolio Manager talks to Shilpa Arora – ACAMS AML Director (EMEA)
January 26, 2021
Hi Aimee– can you tell us about your role at ING?
I work for ING in London, for the Client Control team, managing UK diversified Corporates. So, I manage KYC for that portfolio – from periodic reviews to the onboarding of new clients.
Congratulations on becoming certified as a KYC Associate. How has that helped you in your role?
First of all, I think it’s great that ING partnered with ACAMS to introduce their internationally recognised and certified digital training. After completing the training, I feel even more empowered in the fight against financial economic crime. It helps my colleagues and I to further enhance our KYC knowledge, skills and expertise in an innovative and engaging manner. This helps to ensure that our customers can continue banking safely and securely.
I've worked in KYC for more than five years, before joining client control. I was previously a KYC analyst, with the majority of my knowledge coming from on-the-job training. So, this certification recognises all that experience.
In the portfolio, I look after a lot of cross-border interaction, so I deal with teams across all ING regions. Having this accreditation gives me more confidence in performing my role.
Did you have any ‘ah-ha’ moments that really stood out during the program, or key topics that you found helpful?
When you’re a KYC analyst, you can fall into the habit of requiring items just because the policy says so. But, when you complete a course like this, you think about the big picture and you’re reminded of what’s underpinning the policy, and how important it really is.
Which is so beneficial – when you're speaking to a client or to account managers in the front office, you can comfortably explain why you’re asking for pieces of information, rather than just saying ‘the policy requires it’.
That builds stronger relationships with front office. If you can explain the context as well as the requirement, that really reinforces that we’re on the same team, with the same goals.
How often do you practise your new CKYCA knowledge?
In my case, every day. Every day I’m working on CDD reviews for existing clients and clients that are being on-boarded. A lot of our clients are big PLCs and they’re listed, with subsidiaries all over Europe…so that obviously involves different booking offices in different regions.
At ING our policy is dictated by Dutch law, but I need to consider and align with all local laws involved. This helps build my experience and knowledge base, and it’s both interesting and challenging working with so many compliance teams in different countries.
So, who do you think would benefit from CKYCA?
I think front office would definitely benefit. If front office are exposed to the bigger picture of KYC, they’d have a greater understanding why we need this information, to ensure the client relationship is as we believe it to be.
I’m sure there’d be some ‘ah-ha’ moments for them too, as they fully understand what’s underpinning KYC.
Finally, what advice do you have for someone thinking about getting certified? Any study tips?
I took time to really read the material. But more importantly, I was also thinking how I could put it all to work – applying it to my day-to-day role, thinking about my client base and where the information would be immediately applicable. That approach was so beneficial for me.
I used the ACAMS app quite a lot, and the flashcards are really useful. I also played the game with the time limit to practice what the exam might be like. It’s amazing how quickly 90 minutes passes in the real thing!
Thank you Aimee. We wish you great success in your AFC career!