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Cutting the costs of compliance: how technology can reduce costs and improve efficiency
For regulated businesses in the UK, remaining compliant is a huge responsibility that requires significant investment. While having the processes in place to fight money laundering is absolutely vital – to both preventing the crime and protecting the business - it is increased regulations, rather than the criminal threats themselves, that are driving up costs. That is because interpreting complex legislation – and keeping up with the constant changes to that legislation- is time-consuming and costly, and far too often, fear of non-compliance leads to an over-cautious approach. This, in turn, leads to the creation of larger compliance teams running higher volumes of checks. And while in theory, a larger team running more and more checks should lead to a more robust process, an over reliance on manual procedures which are open to human error, actually puts the business at higher risk of non-compliance. Digital compliance services not only offer a more reliable solution for regulated firms but can actually reduce costs - and in some cases, even create commercial opportunities for the business. In this whitepaper we look at how data and technology can help businesses across the UK create more efficient and cost-effective compliance processes.

Recent Articles

Press Release
Mistrust of technology exposing a third of regulated firms to money laundering - SmartSearch survey
More than a third (36 percent) of people in regulated firms who ‘can’t trust’ electronic ID verification and instead rely on manual checks are leaving their doors open to financial crime, anti-money laundering expert warns. This statistic - from SmartSearch’s 2023 annual survey of 500 compliance stakeholders - has doubled since their 2022 survey, when 18 percent of people said they couldn’t trust the technology.
Whitepaper
Configuration and Customisation
Money laundering and financial crime is on the rise; according to SmartSearch’s latest report EV Uncovered III -Emerging financial sectors, over the past year, 40 percent of regulated firms have seen a rise in money laundering attempts, while more than a third (36%) have been a victim of financial crime in the past six months. In response to this increased risk, anti-money laundering (AML) regulation is also tightening, meaning that having robust systems in place to identify and mitigate money laundering has never been more important for regulated businesses in the UK. However, many are still not implementing compliance processes and procedures as they should. SmartSearch’s research found just 22% of firms ‘always’ verify new clients, while just 23% ‘always’ screen for sanctions and PEPs. Most firms utilise a third-party solution for their AML checks, which generally means they have their own customer onboarding process and customer database, with a separate system for their AML processes. In practical terms, this means entering client details into two or sometimes three or four separate databases – depending on whether or not they are using multiple vendors for their verification, screening and monitoring. Not only is this time-consuming and resource-heavy, but the duplication of data leaves the firms open to errors which could result in an AML breach.
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Whitepaper
AML best practices for Financial Institutions
To launder their money, criminals need to use legitimate businesses – these include law, property, gaming and gambling firms as well as insurance and investment companies – basically any business that deals with client money. But one of the most common targets for money launderers is banks and financial institutions. Money launderers use a wide array of tactics to clean their cash via banks and financial institutions – from setting up shell companies from which to transfer funds into UK banks, to getting ‘mules’ to deposit dirty cash in low volumes, which then is moved around the world – through the banking system. Due to the vulnerability of the banking sector – and its critical importance to the stability, security and prosperity of the entire economy - the financial services industry is one of the most highly regulated sectors in the UK in terms of anti-money laundering (AML) rules.
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