Banks and other financial institutions have complex and large-scale operations to ensure compliance with laws addressing financial crimes and money laundering activities. Leading names leverage emerging technologies and innovation to increase efficacy and create value for their AML, KYC and other financial crime prevention processes. Communication surveillance is one of them. It presents a lucrative opportunity to increase effectiveness and reduce costs for financial crime teams while preventing illegal conduct or abuse.
As far as financial crime is concerned, compliance teams have high expectations to ensure everything is operational as it should. Apart from identifying potential misconduct, implementing a proactive safeguard is essential to prevent the issue from escalating. That is where surveillance enters in. Let us see how communications surveillance supports financial crime teams against misconduct.
Role of Surveillance in Financial Crime Prevention
The primary role of a financial crime team is to spot and prevent any illicit cash flow. It traditionally works by monitoring communications to build a story and identify the intent. It flags a breach based on what happened after or before a transaction, what the customer told the bank’s employee, whether it benefited the trader, and whether the transaction had a legal purpose.
Over the years, these investigations utilize technologies like CDD (Customer Due Diligence), KYC (Know Your Customer), relationship monitoring, transaction monitoring, post-transaction investigation, and identification of corruption and bribery. By implementing communication surveillance beforehand, the financial crime team can potentially stop a crime from happening at its early stages.
How Does Surveillance Work?
Code of conduct violations and corruption activities do not happen out of anywhere. Almost every time, they are part of a plan that the criminals bring together beforehand. An internal communication platform can document it efficiently to prevent wrongdoing in time. When a financial crime team comes together with surveillance strategies, they can get a bigger picture of every activity in an organization.
Employees and customers use diverse ways of communication, including Zoom, voice, email, and instant messaging. So, tracking the beginning and proceedings of a suspicious activity becomes a real challenge. Beyond capturing each conversation’s content, it is also essential to understand the context to examine in-scope communication. Although the task seems insurmountable, automated surveillance technologies enable financial crime teams to detect breaches before misconduct occurs.
Most financial institutions deploy surveillance tools to detect fraud and fight market abuse. However, difficult access to quality, precise data often results in a flood of irrelevant and duplicate files for review. The basic idea is to gain insight without increasing the crime team’s workload. Flagging only the risky content makes the team’s effort more efficient and targeted.
Developed with advanced machine learning and de-duplication programs, communication surveillance technologies pinpoint only the riskiest content in the database. It also simplifies the investigation process by sending transaction alerts and automatically connecting transaction communications. Once the team establishes the correlation between behavior and conversations, it can potentially stop the wrongdoing before it happens.
Partnering with a Surveillance Team
Professional surveillance services strengthen a financial crime team’s investigation strategy by giving it access to the latest technology. While the data is already present at their disposal, technology empowers them to aggregate and analyze it according to the demand. Employees keep moving across emails, Skype, chats, calls, and other communication platforms using various lingos and languages. A capable and feature-rich surveillance system collects and comprehends all the available data to paint the broader picture.
Surveillance is an essential priority for financial crime teams, as it helps them find ways to leverage the data available at their fingertips. Using prebuilt models and techniques, a financial crime team can detect potential breaches and identify the intent. Surveillance models dive deep into communication channels between employees and safeguard against potential risk while staying compliant with external and internal regulations.
Managing bribery, corruption, and money-laundering risk is challenging for a financial institution of any size. From internal conduct breaches to serious corruption charges, communication surveillance paints a picture of how the employees share information in real-time. It is crucial in preventing and mitigating financial crimes and benefitting a company’s operational efficiencies. So, it makes sense for an institution to leverage surveillance and benefit from adequate resources. Aligning surveillance programs increases compliance efficacy, assesses risk, and responds appropriately to a dynamic environment.