Elaine Yancey: Learning What Motivates People

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ACAMS Today  sat down with Elaine Yancey, CAMS, ACAMS Today ‘s new Editorial Committee Chairperson, to discuss her beginnings in the anti-financial crime field, her interest in writing and her advice for fellow writers in this field.

Yancey is a senior examiner with more than 25 years of bank supervision experience with subject-matter expertise in the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). For the past 12 years, she has led a team of community and regional bank examiners specializing in BSA and OFAC, fraud and fiduciary regulations. She spearheaded the creation and development of the BSA Coalition, a group of anti-money laundering (AML) professionals interested in developing effective BSA compliance programs and furthering the goals of the BSA. She is also a board member of the Virginia ACAMS Chapter and serves on the Editorial Committee of ACAMS Today. Prior to her work with the BSA, Yancey was a consumer compliance examiner where she attained commissioning. Yancey joined the Federal Reserve’s national bank examination program in December 2018.

Yancey is a graduate of Furman University (Bachelor of Arts) and obtained her Master of Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2005.

ACAMS Today: Could you share how you became interested in the field of anti-financial crime?

Elaine Yancey: I started my career in banking as a compliance examiner working with consumer protection laws. I enjoyed it very much but to expand my horizons, I earned an MBA and ended up securing a role involving Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering compliance. As part of the role, I collaborated with a banker and others to create a group called the BSA Coalition, for which we planned outreach/training events for AML professionals. Meeting so many fascinating and talented people through this role created the passion I now have for the field.

AT: How did you become interested in writing?

EY: I became interested in writing when I took a business-writing course during my undergraduate studies. I was captivated by both the creativity and conciseness that writing can achieve.

AT: What topics do you like to write about and what topics would you like to try and cover in the future?

EY: I am interested in people and what motives them. Accordingly, I want to do more writing that involves interviewing others in the AML profession to understand them, their challenges and their successes. I am also interested in the significant impact money laundering can have on the economy and more specifically people. Public corruption hurts people!

AT: What type of articles do you think members would like to see in upcoming issues of ACAMS Today?

EY: I would like to learn more about the interests of our members as far as articles are concerned. Fortunately, I think our members are interested in a broad array of topics, but I would like to confirm that through working with my ACAMS Today  Editorial Committee leaders and colleagues and possibly a brief survey.

AT: What advice do you have for fellow writers in the anti-financial crime field?

EY: My advice to fellow writers is to contact me or my colleagues on the Editorial Committee with ideas and/or for writing opportunities!

AT: What do you like to do when you are not fighting financial crime?

EY: I like to travel. I find it fascinating and educational and it has shaped me as an individual. My favorite American city is New Orleans.

Interviewed by: Stephanie Trejos, editorial assistant, ACAMS, Miami, FL, USA, strejos@acams.org