Compliance has always been a challenge, but that challenge is becoming greater than ever for many financial institutions. The sheer number of employees with access to material nonpublic information (MNPI) is growing, and these individuals are highly dispersed due to the pandemic.
Finding the perpetrators of crimes is a taxing task in terms of time and money; however, regulators require banks to comply with AML and KYC regulations or pay penalties. Data is key to uncovering the criminals who exploit banks for illicit purposes, but employing data to best advantage is easier said than done. Tools such as entity resolution and network analytics make the process much more trustworthy and less costly.
Compliance is a word that all companies, especially financial firms, need to know but is one that is not always enduring to boards and senior management. After assigning compliance officers the task of designing the compliance program, many executives lose interest and move on to more compelling concerns. But considering the potentially devastating risks to reputation and profitability of non-compliance, an effective compliance program requires continuous engagement, support and investment.
Compliance teams are no longer the same as they used to be – they are now considered the third most-stressful City job, after investment bankers and traders. The combination of the financial crisis, Brexit and cybercrime has resulted in a high-stress profession, with constant roadblocks in the way of success.
Banks once were the movers and shakers of the financial world, but in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, mired in new regulations, many have lagged behind rising fintechs in technological innovation. What fintechs have discovered is artificial intelligence’s considerable contribution to meeting customer needs and maximizing operational efficiencies. Now that the regulatory climate has eased, banks are catching up and employing carefully implemented AI to help them achieve their customer-centric goals.
It may seem to bankers that they have been unfairly targeted by increasing compliance requirements recently. One directive after another has flowed down the pipe from regulators. But as firms have discovered, building and maintaining a culture of compliance and integrity brings with it many business rewards. What are the five best ways that financial institutions can weave compliance, business integrity and corporate social responsibility into all aspects of their operations?
The word compliance may hit a sour note for some bankers, but in the end, compliance demonstrates commitment to transparency, integrity and best practices. If only compliance wasn’t so complicated and costly. Effective data archiving is necessary to make data repositories what they must be. Most banks archive data, but many need to upgrade their processes. What are the five elements that financial firms should include in their data-archiving overhauls?
Although the GDPR—designed to augment consumers’ data protection and privacy—is the brainchild of the Council of the European Union and European Parliament, its reach extends far beyond Europe. In the United States, it is no longer a choice but a must for financial firms to adopt stricter consumer-data-protection measures. The costs of not doing so far outweigh the costs of compliance; regulators expect data security, and so do customers.
SWIFT has a long history of enabling financial institutions to communicate with each other reliably and securely; thousands of banks use the SWIFT network for interbank messaging. Faced with the twin threats of intensifying cybercrime and growing compliance requirements, banks are scrambling to be secure and compliant while also profitable. SWIFT has developed robust financial-crime solutions that assist its members to comply with the gamut of regulations—from AML to KYC—profitably.
Banks are supposed to put up sturdy walls to protect the sensitive financial information that they closely guard, but sometimes these silos work to the benefit of the fraudsters intent on breaking in and stealing it. When bank teams work together, they present a much stronger unified barrier against cyber-criminals. What five steps do banks need to take to make this collaboration happen?