DETERMINATION PUSH COMPLIANCE PROFESSIONAL FAREDA SANDS TO TURN PROGRAM CHALLENGES INTO OPPORTUNIES

In her more than a decade in various compliance capacities at several large banks, Fareda Sands has learned to embrace the challenges of a job that requires constant learning, specialized skills and unique personal and professional resources to adequately staff.

What do you do in your current role?

In my current role I am involved with every aspect of Compliance, from opening accounts to monitoring. Reporting to the Regulators and everything in between. As there are only two members in Compliance along with the Head, there is nothing that I do not get involved in that Compliance is responsible for and that also includes providing Compliance services for our sister company in another jurisdiction.

Additionally, I am the Executive Vice President of the Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers with a responsibility for the Administration of the Association affairs and an Executive Member of the Caribbean Regional Compliance Association.

What does your career trajectory in financial crime look like?

At the moment I am a Sr. Compliance & Operational Risk Officer and it is my intent to eventually lead a Compliance Department.

How has [compliance, investigations, etc.] changed and evolved during your career?

When I first joined Compliance it was in the early 2000’s and AML and KYC were the ‘BIG’ topics. Financial Crime and Sanctions eventually became a part of the ‘BIG’ topics and now we are at the Point of Automatic Exchange of Information for Tax Compliance including the ‘BIG’ topic of FATCA.

What do you see as key challenges related to financial crime in your role or in the sector overall?

From where I sit, resources and specialized skills are the main key challenges related to financial crime.

What motivated you to become a financial crime professional?

It is a dynamic profession…constantly changing. I love challenges!

Why did you join ACFCS and/or become CFCS certified?

I was a part of a pilot programme between the Ministry of Financial Services in the Bahamas, the Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers and ACFCS to roll out the programme in The Bahamas. Fifteen persons were awarded scholarships to study the course and sit the exam and I was one of those persons who were successful in passing the exam and thus obtaining my certification.

What is the best advice you have ever gotten?

The opportunity of a lifetime is in the lifetime of the opportunity…embrace opportunities!

What is the worst advice you have ever gotten?

Don’t try that…it is not set up for you to succeed.

What would you say are the most important attributes for someone in your role to be able to succeed?

Determination and a passion to succeed despite difficult circumstances. Compliance is not a profession for the faint of heart.

Is there anything that surprised you about your current role?

The amount of different tasks that keep getting added to my job description

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I would say the most rewarding part of my job is that I am always learning. There is something new going on almost every day and that for me is rewarding.