Credit Risk

How to Manage Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Compliance During Uncertainty

How to Manage Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Compliance During Uncertainty

April 07, 2020 | Flor Santiesteban

It's a Priority to Stay Vigilant

Many of you are protecting workers by encouraging social distancing and providing work-from-home options. During this time, it’s essential to strike a healthy balance of managing the needs of your customers and workforce, while keeping an eye on the potential for a spike in anti-money laundering (AML) activity. According to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (Fincen), we should expect cybercriminals to take advantage of this crisis to disrupt business operations and commit fraud. Additionally, ACAMS recently reported that "federal prosecutors around the U.S. have warned that they anticipate a spike in healthcare-related fraud and asked the public to report any potential fraudulent activity related to the crisis."

Challenges Have Been Mounting 

Managing your AML is difficult enough with various obstacles, such as rising costs. The data below tell a story of costly, labor-intensive process that are considered indicators of an overburdened compliance staff:

  • 74% of compliance costs are spent on labor
  • 35% - 60% of compliance costs can be saved by financial institutions if they use Know Your Customer (KYC) managed services
  • 100% of compliance professionals say they'd prefer to spend more time on business value-added tasks – but don’t have the time¹.

Add to this, a rising skills shortage. Getting skilled resources with in-depth knowledge of AML can be a challenge. Organizations also need to invest considerable time and effort in keeping personnel abreast with changing regulatory requirements.

To overcome this, many companies turn to expensive outside consulting firms to manage their compliance systems. But companies that develop an over reliance on consultancy support become dependent and unable to adjust quickly to new requirements.

AML Management During Economic Uncertainty

There is an increased emphasis on acceptance of responsibility, and politicians are renewing calls for corporations to take stances on issues outside of the corporate sphere. Therefore, lenders are releasing “statements of corporate purpose” that tout their social responsibility initiatives. Now, more than ever these commitments are critical to protecting your business interests. This "good citizen approach" is also important while supporting your AML staff during this time of need.

As employees adjust to working from home and juggling family responsibilities, you may help them refocus on matters of greater importance. Retain and motivate your remote workforce by offloading simple tasks like clearing false positives and reviewing alerts. Consider Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) as the first line of defense, so your staff can focus on the mission-critical business of keeping cybercriminals at bay.

AML Outsourcing Relieves Over-burdened Compliance Departments

Equifax can help you free up internal resources so employees can focus on more urgent tasks. Equifax and FICO have joined forces to provide a solution for any size financial institution to deal with rising costs, legacy IT and overburdened compliance departments. Consider the added benefits:

  • Extra help for remote staff assigned to clearing false positives and reviewing alerts
  • Respond more quickly to customer needs
  • Build stronger brand reputation
  • Decreased exposure to financial crimes
  • Lower costs and increase margins



Sources: 1. ThomsonReuters, “Reducing the cost of compliance: A bold move towards Know Your Customer (KYC) managed services”, 2018

Flor Santiesteban

Flor Santiesteban

Product Marketing Manager

Flor leads marketing strategy and execution for the Banking & Lending vertical at Equifax. In this role, she is responsible for developing and implementing integrated marketing campaigns, including thought leadership, sales enablement and demand generation. For more than 20 years, Flor has focused on the financial ser[...]