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Many Banks Struggling to Identify Gaps in AML Programs, Report Indicates

A new survey from NICE Actimize found that some banks are lagging in building a strong culture around AML compliance.

With increasing regulatory focus on anti-money laundering (AML) compliance and controls, a new survey from NICE Actimize found that only half (48%) of respondents within the banking industry say their institution has a “strong culture of compliance” in AML. The issue most often cited by respondents in building such a culture was identifying gaps in their banks’ AML strategy, with 47% calling it their most pressing concern for the next 6-12 months.

However, despite the concerns over the culture at some institutions, only 29% of the respondents said they expect their bank to change its approach to AML compliance.

Other major areas of concern cited by the 422 respondents (from more than 300 banks) included model risk governance and model risk management (23%), and the desire to avoid regulatory sanctions (17%). And 12% of the respondents said they’re concerned about being held personally responsible for non-compliant activities.

[For More on AML Compliance: 6 Best Practices for AML Screening]

The report also found that banks are reacting to increased regulatory attention and fines in AML compliance by improving their collection and management of compliance data. 75% of the respondents said they expect their bank to introduce operational changes in that area. Those changes will aim to help banks respond quickly to regulators’ requests for information, mitigating the risk of fines and sanctions, NICE Actimize said in the report.

Jonathan Camhi has been an associate editor with Bank Systems & Technology since 2012. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in New York City covering politics, health and immigration, and has a master's degree from the City University of New York's Graduate School ... View Full Bio

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