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Diogo Pereira: “In the book, we suggest regulatory approaches and strategies for the Mozambican financial sector”

Diogo Pereira Duarte, a partner at Abreu Advogados, a member of the expert community of the Portugal FinTech Association and of the Bank of Portugal’s working group on the Digital Euro, will be in Maputo for the launch of the book entitled “Innovation, Development and Compliance in a Changing Financial Sector”, an event that will take place on April 11, at 9:30 a.m., in the auditorium of the campus of the Faculty of Law of the Eduardo de Mondlane University.

In an exclusive interview with Profile, Diogo talks about the book’s proposals for the financial sector in Mozambique, stressing that “we propose regulatory approaches and strategies to face challenges in our book”.

Profile Mozambique: You are about to launch a book entitled “Innovation, Development and Compliance in a Changing Financial Sector“, what are the main proposals in the book?

Diogo Pereira Duarte: Allow me to put the purpose of this book into context. Abreu Advogados, in partnership with the law firm JLA and the Faculty of Law of the Eduardo de Mondlane University, has held several meetings with banking institutions in Mozambique. During these meetings, we identified the main concerns of these institutions and decided to contribute to the growth of the market by addressing issues of innovation, market development and compliance. The book presents a compilation of studies in these areas, with almost 20 specific articles, prepared by our lawyers and those of JLA in Maputo and by heads of some banking institutions such as BiG Mozambique and Nedbank

PM: According to the results of the survey, what are the main challenges facing the financial sector in the current climate?

DPD: The main challenges facing the financial sector in Mozambique are related to the risks arising from technology, such as data protection and cyber-attacks. In addition, the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing is crucial to maintaining the sector’s international credibility. The inefficiency of the tax system in relation to investment funds is also a concern. We propose regulatory approaches and strategies to tackle these challenges in our book.

PM: According to your experience, what analysis do you make of the compliance sector, from the point of view of applicability, in the business context in Mozambique? And whether there are specific cases that have influenced new paradigms in compliance.

DPD: In fact, the use of technology to help with compliance verification issues is indisputable. There’s even a technology vertical called RegTech, which is technology at the service of regulation.

I would say that the use of programs is nowadays an indispensable partner of the compliance officer. But I would stress that it is an element that is at the disposal of the compliance officer and that in no way, in my view, does it replace their fundamental role in the organization. Not least because automation and the use of algorithms, of artificial intelligence solutions that have an impact on people’s rights, must always make it possible for people to have recourse to a human decision that verifies the results of decisions exclusively supported by technology or fully automated decisions.

And then, as we were talking about earlier, technology itself has risks and is, shall we say, susceptible to operational errors. So there needs to be a compliance program, procedures to mitigate and report these risks. There needs to be auditing of policies and procedures for the use of technology. And this whole orchestra, let’s say, continues to be led by the head of the compliance function, who will have to broaden the spectrum of his skills to understand this technological dimension, but he won’t be replaced by technology.

PM: Meanwhile, technological advances, especially artificial intelligence, learning stimulated by digital means, can be used to transform legal and compliance functions. What is the new role of the compliance officer when monitoring is carried out by data analysis and real-time training is carried out by artificially intelligent robots?

DPD: With the advancement of technology, the role of the compliance officer is expanding to include understanding and managing technological risks. While artificial intelligence and other technologies can help with data analysis and real-time monitoring, human oversight is essential to ensure ethical decisions and regulatory compliance.

The compliance officer will continue to play a key role in the organization, adapting to technological changes and ensuring the integrity and compliance of the company.

PM: What contributions do you hope to make to the business sphere in Mozambique with this publication?

DPD: We hope the book will be a practical and valuable tool for Mozambican companies, especially in the financial sector. The proposals and analysis presented can offer important insights for dealing with current and future challenges, promoting compliance, innovation and market development.

Companies that want to launch credit products, buy now, pay later, which are innovative products, have the opportunity here to check the legal framework for this type of product and analyze what is done internationally, not only in Portugal, but also in the European Union, and compare this regime with the Mozambican regime, adding value to the product in order to develop it. This is just one example. Companies that have compliance control programs in the area of technological risk can also find here what is emerging in Portugal, in terms of regulating technological risk.

Overall, we hope that this work will contribute to strengthening the financial sector and sustainable economic growth in Mozambique.

PM: And how can those interested purchase the book?

DPD: The book will be published by Escolar Editora and will be available for purchase at the publisher’s offices. The official launch will take place on April 11, in the auditorium of the campus of the Faculty of Law of the Eduardo de Mondlane University, during an event open to the public. Those interested in purchasing the book can attend this event, but it is important to register in advance to guarantee a place.

Brief Profile

Diogo Pereira Duarte

Partner at Abreu Advogados. Co-coordinator of the Financial Law and Fintech Practice Area.

Member of the expert community of the Portugal FinTech association and of the Bank of Portugal’s working group on the Digital Euro.

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