Global AML Survey shows RegTech improves organisations’ abilities to tackle financial crime
London: A large majority (75%) of anti-money laundering (AML) professionals believe the current geopolitical landscape presents new risks and challenges for preventing financial crime at their organisations, according to a joint survey by SWIFT and Dow Jones Risk & Compliance.
To address these risks, more than half (54%) of respondents are planning to increase their investment in RegTech in the next three to five years, as the majority (59%) say technology has improved their company’s ability to tackle AML, KYC and sanctions requirements.
The annual survey – comprised of responses from more than 500 compliance and anti-money laundering professionals around the world – assesses the current regulatory environment and the impact of new regulation on international and regional banks’ compliance departments.
Joel Lange, Managing Director of Dow Jones Risk & Compliance, said: “The shifting geopolitical environment has created an additional layer of complexity for tackling financial crime around the world. As the political and economic landscape continues to impact international trade, data protection, and tax cooperation, the need for greater transparency and more effective information sharing across borders is more important than ever.”
Compliance Teams Struggle to Cope with Regulations
As financial crime risks continue to evolve, increased regulatory expectations represent the greatest challenge (69%) for respondents, followed by concerns surrounding increased enforcement of current regulations (50%), and the need to understand regulation outside of their home jurisdiction (42%).
Specific regulations, such as the OFAC and EU 50% Rules as well as the FinCEN CDD Rule (both new in 2017 survey), are cited by over 70% of respondents as contributing to increased workloads for compliance departments. More than half of respondents say FATCA and the Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive are regulations that add to existing workloads.
“Technology can play a key role in providing new and enhanced capabilities that strike a balance between preventing criminal activity, meeting regulatory requirements and containing costs,” said Paul Taylor, Director of Compliance Services, SWIFT. “The most sophisticated financial crime compliance solutions help mitigate risks and boost efficiency in several ways, from managing workloads to automating payments monitoring and reducing false positives, enabling compliance teams to focus on more strategic risk policy and financial crime prevention work.”
Khaled Moharem, Head of Middle East & North Africa, SWIFT, said: “As a regional financial hub, the UAE recently adopted enhanced regulations in anti-money laundering. Innovative technical solutions such as RegTech will help the financial community in the region mitigate the risks and implement the right compliance policies while aligning themselves with international practices.”
AML Concerns in Focus
The survey found that the greatest AML-related challenge currently facing organisations is having enough trained staff (57%), followed by the reliance on outdated technology (48%).
Historically, most institutions manage their anti-fraud and AML activities separately; however the data shows an increase (66%) from last year (59%) of AML departments handling fraud detection and prevention. When it comes to managing fraud, risk data (90%) continues to be the most relevant source of information, followed by crime typologies (75%) and news (70%).
About Dow Jones:
Dow Jones is a global provider of news and business information, delivering content to consumers and organizations around the world across multiple formats, including print, digital, mobile and live events. Dow Jones has produced unrivalled quality content for more than 130 years and today has one of the world’s largest newsgathering operations globally. It produces leading publications and products including the flagship Wall Street Journal, America’s largest newspaper by paid circulation; Factiva, Barron’s, MarketWatch, Financial News, DJX, Dow Jones Risk & Compliance, Dow Jones Newswires, and Dow Jones VentureSource. Dow Jones is a division of News Corp (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV).
SWIFT is a global member owned cooperative and the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services.
We provide our community with a platform for messaging and standards for communicating, and we offer products and services to facilitate access and integration, identification, analysis and regulatory compliance.
Our messaging platform, products and services connect more than 11,000 banking and securities organisations, market infrastructures and corporate customers in more than 200 countries and territories. While SWIFT does not hold funds or manage accounts on behalf of customers, we enable our global community of users to communicate securely, exchanging standardised financial messages in a reliable way, thereby supporting global and local financial flows, as well as trade and commerce all around the world.
As their trusted provider, we relentlessly pursue operational excellence; we support our community in addressing cyber threats; and we continually seek ways to lower costs, reduce risks and eliminate operational inefficiencies. Our products and services support our community’s access and integration, business intelligence, reference data and financial crime compliance needs.
SWIFT also brings the financial community together – at global, regional and local levels – to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest or concern.
Headquartered in Belgium, SWIFT’s international governance and oversight reinforces the neutral, global character of its cooperative structure. SWIFT’s global office network ensures an active presence in all the major financial centres.
About SWIFT’s financial crime compliance services portfolio:
SWIFT’s Compliance Services unit manages a growing portfolio of financial crime compliance services in the areas of sanctions, Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML). The portfolio includes Sanctions Screening, Sanctions Testing and Name Screening solutions, Compliance Analytics and Payments Data Quality services, and The KYC Registry.