An Easy Way to Speed Up AML Work

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News.

At my twin daughters’ 7th grade back to school night last week I was forced to relive my horror of Algebra 1. As the parents walked into the classroom, the teacher handed us an index card and told us to complete the problem on the board.  “Show your work or no credit, and your kids… Read more »

Reviewing Negative News: Costs Are Worse Than Thought

Posted by & filed under Negative News.

Third in a series.  See part 1 and part 2. Current ways of reviewing negative news results are monotonous, frustrating, and harmful to AML compliance. Negative news is the best way to identify AML risk, yet reading piles of irrelevant results can zap the attention and spirit of every AML investigator. So, a troubling paradox… Read more »

Negative News Searching Isn’t Working (Part 2 of series)

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News.

Second in a series.  See part 1 here. Searching for negative news is among the most inefficient, inconsistent, and risky parts of AML. Whether new customer KYC, high-risk customer EDD, or suspicious activity investigations, negative news searching involves too many systems, too many manual steps, and too much likelihood something critical is missed. No wonder… Read more »

AML is Plagued by Inefficiency (Part 1 of series)

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News.

This is the first post in a series addressing inefficiencies in current AML processes and practical solutions to the most prevalent issues. I spend my days speaking with AML Officers, FIU Directors, and the investigators and analysts that spend their days completing EDD reviews, transaction monitoring analysis, and case investigations. I can distill those hundreds… Read more »

Is AML Efficiency Really Possible?

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News.

Never-ending monitoring alerts.  Flipping from system to system to find customer information, transaction details, and negative news.  Documenting searches and investigation reports.  SAR filings.  Model validation.  Annual risk assessments.  Hiring new analysts to replace the ones that jumped to another bank for more money.  Audit one month, regulatory examination the next.   Constantly shifting priorities. This… Read more »

Missing the Best Clue in AML – Effective Negative News Monitoring

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News.

Experienced AML professionals know that negative news is the most useful source to uncover risk. Transaction activity alone does not tell the whole story; negative news completes the picture.   Yet financial institutions direct enormous time, money, and people to transaction monitoring, while allocating a small fraction of attention to negative news. Why take such… Read more »

AML Is Old – Are You?

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News.

Many of us in AML are old.  Old enough to say things to our teenagers and college aged kids like, “When I was your age they played videos on MTV,” and, “What are you talking about, ‘The Safety Dance’ is a great song.” Turns out today’s generation may fail to see the appeal of hair… Read more »

The False Hope of Artificial Intelligence and AML Compliance

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News.

Artificial Intelligence or “AI” is the new buzzword in Anti-Money Laundering.  Nervous? Recent AML news would have you believe we’re on the cusp of dramatic change that will wipe out thousands of compliance jobs.  AI will then transform those few remaining workers into Arnold-like Model T-101 Terminators annihilating alerts, cases, and SARs with emotionless robot-like… Read more »

AML is Still Using Flip Phones

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News.

It was reported a few weeks ago that Andrew Luck, the star quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts celebrated his new $140 million contract by upgrading his flip phone to a… new flip phone.  It seems Luck is happy with a device that most of us last used a decade ago. Hearing this took me back… Read more »

The Problems with Negative News Batch Screening

Posted by & filed under Negative News.

In 2005 I was the AML Officer for Riggs Bank overseeing an AML team and hordes of consultants.  Riggs was caught up in a whirlwind of regulatory, law enforcement and Congressional investigations.  Selling the bank was the only option, and before approving any sale, the regulators wanted a bunch of projects completed. One of the… Read more »