Five Ways to Help Combat Money Laundering

It takes a number of actions to fight against money laundering. We’ve compiled five tips from TCF Bank to take back to your own institution.
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Stolen Credit Cards in Hands of Thief Trying to Use Cards Online without Owner Permission. Online Payments Security and Identity Theft Concept Photo.

Stolen Credit Cards in Hands of Thief Trying to Use Cards Online without Owner Permission. Online Payments Security and Identity Theft Concept Photo.

James Cummans at TCF National Bank in Minneapolis has fresh challenges each day—keeping up with latest developments in money laundering and other fraudulent actions. It’s an ever-vigilant process. “Fraudsters target weakness in banks,” says Cummans, TCF’s vice president of BSA operations.

All it takes is for one bank to falter and fraudsters gain a new portal to launder money. That one bank’s weakness could affect the whole industry, bringing greater regulatory scrutiny down upon all financial institutions. As Cummans notes, “all major regulatory change has come as a result of catastrophe.”

It takes a number of actions to fight against money laundering. We’ve compiled five tips from TCF Bank to take back to your own institution.

  1. Improve Searches with Technology

It’s increasingly difficult to separate serious potential threats from the many false positives turning up in searches.

“There are a great number of alerts that have to be looked at in order to lay a net over all the accounts you have in an institution,” Cummans said. “If we can reduce false positives, we can expand the scope of accounts to a more granular level and make reporting more effective.”

Using some form of technology, such as AI, to conduct constant searches can reduce some of the burden for AML officials, essentially weeding out some false positives while expanding searches. With technology, “you can look at a broader scope of alerts without having anyone physically going through all of them,” said Cummans. “It makes for better coverage while letting staff devote their efforts to accounts deserving their time and attention.”

  1. Have Regular Cross-Communication

TCF runs a quarterly round table with state and local law enforcement and area banks to discuss trends and new ways people are working to circumvent the system, says Cummans. Law enforcement provides intelligence about fresh scams to banks, though often “banks are typically seeing these [schemes] before law enforcement is. We’re providing a lot of details to them.”

By having regular meetings, banks and law enforcement can keep each other up to date, verify any suspicions, identify possible networks, and enhance the public-private partnership, creating a united front against money launderers.

To continue reading the five-tips, access the full article here >

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2018 Thomson Reuters AML Insights Report Image

2018 Thomson Reuters Anti-Money Laundering Insights Report

Thomson Reuters partnered with ACAMS to conduct a survey of 253 anti-money laundering compliance leaders related to processes and activities used in response to “know your customer” requirements. The responses showed the impact the CDD Rule has had – and will continue to have – on the operations and practices of financial institutions.