April 28, 2008

Robert Binney, FortentThe key AML challenge in 2008 is how to balance the significant cost pressures affecting the financial sector with the increased regulatory scrutiny surrounding money laundering and other financial crimes. To tackle this challenge, it is critically important for banks to use effective technology, streamline their investigations processes, automate workflows and enhance staff training.

The bar is being raised on returns on investment in compliance technology, so choosing AML systems that take costs out of compliance and improve productivity is essential. Additionally, the growing regulatory focus on customer identification requires more rigorous Know Your Customer systems that automate the traditionally time-consuming process of customer due diligence.

Banks are focusing on streamlining their key AML functions, including the investigation of alerts triggered by monitoring systems. They place a high value on using automated tools to ensure that all pieces of evidence are collected in a standardized way across the businesses.

Another challenge is finding a better way to manage the vast amount of regulatory information that compliance heads and business staff need to receive. Faced with information overload from the number of "legs and regs," banks are seeking a regulatory information management tool that can gather, filter and distribute the relevant regulatory requirements throughout the organization -- and keep track of who's reading what.

Finally, the key to making all these processes work is having a well-trained, knowledgeable staff. By continually enhancing the professional skills and knowledge of their compliance staffs, banks can do more with less.