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Eminent bankers predict a bullish future with a sharp focus on compliance measures at the Opening Session of WFDB 2022, Presidents’ Meeting

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Today, at the Banking and Finance Panel Discussion held at the Opening Session of World Federation of Diamond Bourse (WFDB) 2022 Presidents’ Meeting, participants discussed compliance issues within the sector. Martin Leake, Special Advisor – Precious Stones, DMCC, Dubai moderated the discussion with finesse. On the panel were Davy Blommaert from Dubai, representing National Bank of Fujairah in the position of Head of Diamonds, Government and Large Corporates. From India was Bijayananda Pattanayak, Head of Gem & Jewellery Sector, IndusInd Bank, followed by Dror Zur from Israel representing Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank in the position of Head of Diamond Finance and finally Pierre de Bosscher, Head of European Operations, Delgatto Finance.

The discussion started with traditional banks entering the diamond and jewellery business. Compliance methodologies like AML and KYC led the discussion. Davy Blommaert from Dubai, representing National Bank of Fujairah in the position of Head of Diamonds, said, Money and diamonds are prone to money laundering, thus specialized in-house teams take up the challenge and they need industry experience. If a bank enters the diamond business without industry knowledge, it is the perfect recipe for disaster!”  

Bijayananda Pattanayak, Head of Gem & Jewellery Sector, IndusInd Bank, exemplified the need for a background check stating that there was a cost involved in not following compliance methods. “It needs informed decision making,” he stated. Dror Zur from Israel did mention that the government had declined the rate of risk in the sector with their initiatives, however noted the presence of problems for which he hoped the government would find solutions.

Pattanayak further stated that he was bullish on the real future of the Indian diamond industry. “Over the last couple of years, the Indian consumer has moved on from gold to diamond wherein more diamond studded jewellery is being consumed. The second point he noted was that technology and digitalization will play a major role as the young new generation of jewellers were emerging. “I too am bullish on the industry outlook,” stated Blommaert adding, “Diamonds are a luxury product and there has always been an over supply of it. The luxury product and market thrives only on scarcity. This current scarcity has increased the demand, there is a marginal over surplus, there is a marginal scarcity pushing the price and margin up. If we can keep the scarcity up, we can keep the margin up.”

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