Ursula M’Crystal

Ursula M’Crystal is originally from South Africa and is now based in the United Arab Emirates, where she is an independent contractor that provides specialist Anti-Money Laundering (AML) support and services to both the public and private sector. Ursula is a former police officer who has, during her 30-year career, acquired multifaceted skills relating to fighting financial crime. Ursula has advised and supported numerous Sub-Saharan African governments on strategic and operational financial crime matters. Ursula has also held senior financial crime compliance positions at both Standard Bank and Standard Chartered Bank, focused on intelligence and investigations.

Positions held include:

  • AML Mentor and Advisor (Independent Contractor) since March 2019.
  • Director: Integrated Intelligence and Investigations, Standard Chartered Bank (from September 2017).
  • Head: Money Laundering Surveillance Unit, Standard Bank Group, from November 2010.
  • Director: Managing Member, AML Solutions, from January 2008.
  • Senior Manager: Monitoring and Analysis, Financial Intelligence Centre, from September 2002.
  • Manager: Money Laundering Compliance Services, KPMG International (Forensic Department), from November 1999.
  • Forensic Investigator, Gobodo Forensic, from May 1997.
  • Detective Sergeant: South African Police Service, from August 1990.

Ursula has a Bachelor degree in Forensic Investigation and has received international training in the subject of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT). She is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS). 

Her experience / exposure to key skills central to effective AML/CFT frameworks include:

  • Investigations (organised crime, money laundering, corruption, asset tracing).
  • Public Private Partnerships (proven track record on PPP engagements).
  • Initiator / driver for establishment of financial crime units in institutions (FIUs, Asset Forfeiture Units, Group Financial Crime Control, Group AML).
  • Conducting AML/CFT assessments – (FATF, World Bank and IMF) – in Africa.
  • Preparation for FATF assessments or regulatory / supervisor inspections.
  • Drafting guidance on AML/CFT topics for public and private sector use.
  • Active participation in FATF and Egmont meetings.
  • Stakeholder engagement across government and private sector bodies in Africa and internationally.
  • Guest lecturer at 2 universities, as well as writer, critical reader and marker for a third university.
  • Conference producer, organiser and presenter.
  • Providing technical assistance to FIUs in Africa.
  • AML/CFT compliance, investigation, intelligence and monitoring in the banking sector.
  • AML/CFT remediation project ownership and sponsor.
  • Project planning and use of data analytics in investigations.
  • Researching, co-authoring, and providing editorial support for financial crime threat assessments for Sub-Saharan African countries.


Anti-Money Laundering, Combatting Financial Crime
Based in
United Arab Emirates