Espresso with

#espresso with Aistė Jokimčiūtė: “Compliance and the market’s best practices are necessary for the prevention of financial crime”

15 Mar 2021PayRay

Data collection and analysis are used to identify and solve problems – the PayRay money laundering prevention officer Aistė Jokimčiūtė really enjoys the practical side of her work. According to Aistė, the world of compliance is far from boring, as some people think. This is because it is necessary to delve deeply into the problems and face new challenges every day. The specialist spends time learning more about the prevention of financial crime on a daily basis, as well as exploring history and politics. She is a great interlocutor for those of us who enjoy discussing the current issues in the world. 

What was your professional journey before PayRay? Which of your achievements do you find the most important? What do you like the most about your profession? I like to joke that I have spent my entire professional life over the past 10 years working with dirty money. I started working in this field from a legal perspective during my studies, which led me to choose the topic of unjust enrichment for my Master’s thesis. Later, I moved to a different side of the barricade, performing compliance and prevention functions for different types of participants in the financial market. I am glad to have experience working in both traditional operations, and with product and risk appetite institutions – in one of the oldest Scandinavian banks and Lithuanian credit unions, as well as in the extremely fast-growing and changing world of Fintech. All of this means I can now see the differences and can manoeuvre between conservative and innovative measures, to achieve not only useful but also safe solutions. I consider the fact that I have worked not only in the field of money laundering prevention, but also in the field of law and compliance to be a great advantage, as I now have a wider field of vision and knowledge.

What are some of the most common myths about your profession? How would you go about dispelling them? Many people think that the world of compliance is theoretical and boring, but as soon as you start working in this field, it becomes clear that you have to deal with different problems every day. No two days are the same just like there are no identical customers. I really like the practical side of my work. Data collection, analysis and the preparation of conclusions may sound boring, but I personally like the satisfaction that comes from successfully identifying or solving a problem by putting a lot of details together.

What are your responsibilities at PayRay? The role of the Anti-Money Laundering Officer is to protect both the bank and its customers from potential financial crime. Close teamwork and continuous learning are required to ensure this.

What goals are the priorities for you and PayRay? Growth is particularly important for a new bank, but successful growth is only possible through compliance and the market’s best practices in the field of financial crime prevention. The Bank of Lithuania expects the same level of safeguarding and this is exactly what I am aiming to implement.

What’s your professional motto? When I reach to a dead end, I always try to enter into a dialogue, because only in this way is it possible to ensure successful business operations, happy customers and a satisfied supervisory authority.

What professional advice do give your colleagues the most often? First of all, it is always necessary to look at things from a broad perspective. It is not enough to simply follow the rules and gather the necessary documents – it is necessary to know your customer’s principles and analyse all the relevant information in detail. Therefore, continuous training and the development of competencies in the field of money laundering prevention is essential for the whole team, particularly as our customer service colleagues are often the first to notice red flags. We live in turbulent times, when typologies are changing rapidly and financial criminals are getting more cunning every day. We must be prepared to stay one step ahead of them.

What are your work habits? How do you start your day? What helps you maintain focus? I live next to a forest, so I start my mornings walking with my dog for an hour. This note only helps me wake up, but provides me with a good, calm mood for the day ahead. When I arrive at work, I always review my list of priorities and stick to that list – I really like to make plans and coordinate the progress of each task. Among my tasks, I spend time learning about financial crime prevention every day. I read about the practices, guidelines, situation analyses and follow the political/economic news in Lithuania and other countries. All this has shaped my abilities and helps me to prepare for possible challenges in the near future. For example, in early 2020, when everyone was focused on the understanding of the virus, did anyone know that the scale of fraud would increase in just one year’s time? Quarantine has limited the activities of criminals, making remote fraud the most convenient way to lure people out of their money, while victims are now psychologically vulnerable and are more susceptible to these fraud traps. This is why it is necessary to keep a wide interest in everything going on in the world.

How do you like to spend your free time? What are your hobbies? What helps you relax and recharge your batteries for work? Unfortunately, the year of quarantine has severely limited my hobbies. I adore going to the theatre, and I always buy tickets for the future so that I have something to look forward to. I also like visiting exhibitions and museums, watching European cinema and tasting wine. I often did all of this abroad, so long weekend trips were a relatively common part of my life.

What ideas or things are you interested in the most these days? I have been very interested in history since I was at school and this interest has not faded. For example, on one of my last trips as a child, I was delighted to see a sculpture of the Capitoline Wolf in Rome, as I could vividly remember the photo that I had seen in a history textbook. In parallel with history, I am very interested in politics and I like to joke that one day fate will take me in that direction. Until then, I am a great interlocutor for those who enjoy discussing the current issues in the world!

Espresso or cappuccino? I’m somewhere in the middle – I prefer flat white, freshly ground high-quality espresso with a little bit of milk. I really like coffee, so I am trying to get to know more about the different flavours and brewing techniques. 

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