What would the Wombles make of it?

Years and years ago, I did a research project for one of the police agencies, and as part of it I was sent to Centrex – their “centre of excellence” in rural Cambridgeshire.  As I remember, the macaroni cheese actually was excellent, but I always felt that there is something rather un-English, rather boastful and trumpetty, about calling something a “centre of excellence”.  It is on my mind because last week the States of Guernsey announced that it is looking into setting up an anti-money laundering centre of excellence in Alderney.  Details are thin on the ground at the moment, but the BBC reports that “the new office would provide compliance services for financial institutions and other firms dealing with wealthy clients, such as estate agents”, and that the plan is to open a pilot office in 2014.

With my future-planning hat on (it’s a rather dashing green velveteen number with a jaunty feather, thank you for asking), I am of course wondering what this means for those of us already beavering away in the world of AML.  I’m not a centre of excellence, but I am a kernel of jolly hard work, and over my looooooong AML years I have seen several other trainers and consultants come and go.  Personally I have always felt that there is plenty of work to go around, but a centre of excellence – particularly one with specific government support – is a different kettle of fish.  Just as no-one was ever sacked for buying IBM, will Guernsey and Alderney regulated businesses feel that it is the politic choice to go with the government-approved (perhaps even government-funded) option?

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8 Responses to What would the Wombles make of it?

  1. Sue Hillman says:

    To me the “States of Guernsey” and “excellence” do not belong in the same sentence.

  2. Oh Sue, bang go your chances of being elected to high office! Never mind: you and I can just carry on being scurrilous from the outside.
    Best wishes from Susan

  3. come on! the NSA knows who everyone is - you dont need to says:

    In other news, the Mafia have announced they plan to open a private investigation service to replace the police. “Trust us – what possible motivation would we have not to do it right?” said Big Tony.

  4. Nikki Neal says:

    …and to me, the union of “Alderney” and “excellence” is a concept which rates just slightly higher than quantum physics in respect of comprehensibility (is that a word? or an indictor of how tired I am this evening?). I should know, I wasted eight years of my life there…

  5. Hello Nikki
    Welcome! We wait with bated breath to hear more details about this centre of excellence. As ever with these things, all will depend on the quality of the staff that they attract. I’m guessing that you won’t be applying!
    Best wishes from Susan

  6. Nikki Neal says:

    …well the mere fact that they would want to live there in the first place would place them in the “flawed diamond” category for sure. anyway, “Alderney centred” probably means just hiding a pile of fancy hardware in one of the many bunkers the Germans left behind in their haste to get away. all the tefal-heads will be running the thing from some sunny non-barren, non-windswept, non-godawful place that’s actually fit for human habitation (like Chernobyl, perhaps). suspect the only onsite human intervention necessary is someone to reset the trip switch when the power goes down. my native brother-in-law could probably stretch to that. or have I quite sold the job to you yet, Susan…?

  7. No-one’s asked me, Nikki – now I don’t know whether to be offended or relieved.
    Best wishes from Susan

    • Nikki Neal says:

      well, they’ve clearly spotted an unfulfilled need in the market. how about set up your own in direct competition? I could recommend Herm to you, only 30mins by ferry from St Peter Port, or swimmable even (wetsuit recommended). feels like a real outpost of civilisation, without actually being one. and if it’s Bailiwick-based button-pressers you’re after…well, you know where to find me 😉

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