Implementing business-wide futureproof AML

This week, Banking Circle and The Paypers hosted a webinar that brought together a panel of experts on AML and financial crime to discuss how organisations can re-equip themselves to combat money laundering in the digital era.

The webinar kicked off with an audience poll on the best way for organisations to create a strong and collaborative AML culture, that will help fight money laundering more effectively. Results surprised the panel, with almost half of respondents (49%) saying learning and development tailored to different teams to grow a common understanding of true risk was the best method. Coming in second was the inclusion of senior AML staff in leadership meetings, followed by developing human-centred messaging around the purpose of AML, and finally, aligning incentives.

Antonia Michail, Deputy Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer at Nuvei, was quick to explain the importance of all stakeholders understanding the real-life implications of money laundering and the victims of associated organised crime. She highlighted that humanising the reasons we fight crime is vital to a successful AML programme, helping employees across the business to fully appreciate the impact their actions or inactions can have on others and the wider business.

The panel agreed that a strong culture of AML is essential, but Livia Benisty, Global Head of Business AML at Banking Circle pointed out that this alone does not necessarily lead to an effective AML programme. She highlighted that however well understood, the human impact of money laundering is often forgotten, particularly when onboarding a potentially profitable, yet higher risk client.

Collaborating for successful AML

Nuvei’s Antonia pointed out that whilst the compliance and sales teams may appear to have very different roles, they share a common goal: onboarding good clients. Interdepartmental collaboration is an essential element of a robust AML programme. Leslie Bailey, Vice President of Financial Crime Compliance Strategy at LexisNexis® Risk Solutions agreed, sharing that it is only possible to gain a true picture of risk when all areas come together: collaborating in a deliberate way helps to reduce friction and improves the customer experience for good customers, while slowing down those she referred to as ‘unsavoury’ customers.

Chris Caruana, Vice President of AML Solutions at Feedzai, added that each function of the business has its own KPIs, and few of these cross over. As such, businesses need to look at how their teams can work together more effectively, to share their data and insights for mutual benefit. He suggested that the issue is so important that businesses should consider introducing a dedicated team to investigate the opportunities for teams to have regular discussions to share insights.

Antonia of Nuvei added that sales and compliance teams are beginning to recognise that they are all one team, facing the same challenges: Sales bring in the revenue, but Compliance ensures that revenue can be sustained. There is that common goal, again: onboarding good – profitable, low risk – customers.

Cross border AML

The panel went on to discuss the cross border challenges AML brings, with varying regulations on each side of the border and a lack of direct connectivity slowing down onboarding as well as transactions. Livia explained that this is where Banking Circle is delivering a valuable solution: virtual IBAN accounts that allow payments to behave like local payments, regardless of where the host account is located.

Now and in the future, fighting money laundering means having the right technologies in place, optimal organisation design, high-quality data captured from a wide range of sources, and the widest possible collaborative approach – involving national and international regulators as well as external partners and clients.

If you missed the webinar, you can access a recording here.

Participants:

  • Livia Benisty, Global Head of Business AML, Banking Circle
  • Christopher Caruana, Vice President of AML Solutions at Feedzai
  • Antonia Michail, Deputy Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer at Nuvei
  • Leslie Bailey, Vice President of Financial Crime Compliance Strategy at LexisNexis® Risk Solutions
  • Mélisande Mual, Managing Director at The Paypers