May 09

Combating financial crime with sophisticated technology that enables the KYC/AML process to work through the lifecycle of a client relationship

By Paul Joseph, Lacuna CCO


Financial crime is all around us and is growing at an alarming rate despite the best efforts of the financial industry. There are a number of challenges in staying one step ahead of the criminals.

As each and every one of us is responsible for protecting our businesses from financial crime, we have a responsibility to do more than just meet regulatory requirements. We need to go further and redouble our efforts in identifying the weak spots in our infrastructures, and support the human effort by deploying a more holistic approach to managing data.  

Currently, the financial industry relies upon a combination of both people and technology to root out the evil, and no wonder, as we as people have all too often proved the weakest link.

If we are being honest with ourselves, we can all likely recount stories of travelling on public transport overhearing sensitive client conversations, business laptops being left open and unattended, discussions in lifts and by coffee machines, passwords not kept in a secure environment, clean desk policies not being adhered to, drawers and cabinets not being secured..the potential red flags are many.

Ultimately the criminals need do no more than stand in the right places and listen.. learning sensitive information that should be protected as sacrosanct.

Everyone should know the impact of financial crime, its negative consequences and in all ways: personally, to our companies, our national economy and to global stability.

Obviously the right training helps with advice on security matters such as best practices (common sense in the main), whistleblowing, inappropriate behaviours and learning about the stages and signs of Money Laundering. Training is mandatory and ongoing, with refresher courses undertaken on a regular basis.

However, I wonder if the training alone is sufficient? is the drive to secure immediate revenues overriding the need to perform key client checks and balances, are we forgetting our roles as first line of defence…execute first, ask questions later?

Financial crime cannot be eradicated by people alone. The human element is critical as oversight, but I contest, human input remains the weakest link for ongoing, 24/7 transaction and relationship monitoring.

Taking a more holistic approach with cutting edge, highly flexible, continually efficient, machine-learning technology can and must support us in the onboarding KYC and ongoing behaviour monitoring. Negative media screening and ownership changes of clients has to be automated. It is simply impossible for individuals to perform this vital monitoring without it..

Lacuna’s holistic approach is delivered through its ClientScope™ platform an essential tool for all client functions within the financial services industry.

With a range of modules designed to support each and every part of the client journey, from on-boarding and KYC/AML through to negative media and account ownership changes ClientScope is becoming the solution of choice for many of the industry’s leading institutions.

Where there is complexity, ClientScope simplifies, where there is uncertainty, ClientScope offers transparency, and where there is doubt, ClientScope gives certainty.

ClientScope’s sophisticated technology helps Financial Institutions and corporates operate efficiently and effectively, saving them £Millions. Our clients, some of the world’s largest banks and FIs, can now effectively manage the increasingly complex business, risk and regulatory relationship that they have with their clients. This in turn improves the quality of strategic decision making and planning across markets, clients and products. It applies a suit of armour for the lifecycle of client relationships to protect against financial crime.