Anti-money laundering, like every other field, has its own jargon.  And more specifically, it has its own acronyms.  AML is the biggie, of course.  Then we used to have KYC [know your customer], which has morphed into CDD [customer due diligence].  Sometimes we miss KYC, because it lent itself to expansion into other areas, such as KYCB [know your customer’s business] and KYE [know your employee].  But we’ve soldiered on with CDD, and its cousins EDD [enhanced DD] and SDD [simplified DD].

Then terrorist financing muscled in – and this caused a major split.  Half the regulatory world talks about CFT [countering the financing of terrorism], while the other half favours CTF [countering terrorist financing].  I’m in the first camp, mainly because if you say the initials “CT” out loud often enough during training, you can guarantee an eventual slip of the tongue leading to a naughty word.  And this is before we start thinking about all the world bodies that operate in the arena of AML: FATF, IMF, CFATF, TI…  It really is an alphabet soup.

I have several doctor friends, and they talk of the amusing medical shorthand they use (or perhaps would like to use) on patient records, such as CTD [circling the drain], FLK [funny-looking kid], SALT [same as last time] and my personal favourite TOBAS [take out back and shoot].  I think we need something similar for our AML checks.  Suggestions please!

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