Did you know that Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-money Laundering (AML) fines totalled $10.4 billion in 2020?
Failing to meet AML screening requirements could expose your company to illegal activities and unknowingly tie you to serious crimes, like money laundering and even terrorism. Consequently, you risk facing sanctions, fines and devastating reputable damage.
With ever-evolving threats and increasingly complicated AML compliance regulations, it’s not surprising that 60% of financial institutions expect their compliance budget to increase in 2021.
As accountants and auditors, we must also stay on top of regulatory changes regarding AML. Whatever the size of your organisation, following a consistent reporting framework significantly reduces your vulnerability to these illegal financial activities.
Keep reading to learn more about the importance of AML compliance and how INAA’s new partner, Relian, revolutionises KYC and AML reporting across the globe.
Customer identification is the first and most critical step in protecting your firm against financial crime. Knowing who you work with helps you steer clear of potentially damaging connections.
When onboarding new customers, KYC background checks identify and verify them using photo IDs and personal information, including date of birth and proof of address. This process prevents firms from unknowingly becoming affiliated with a business or individual previously involved in financial crime.
Once the onboarding process is complete, you must continuously assess the risk level that a customer poses to your business in your Customer Due Diligence (or CDD) report. Using sanction and Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) screenings helps identify any red flags that indicate illegal activity.
The KYC and CDD reports are significant for AML compliance and avoiding any losses resulting from money laundering.
Failing to prevent laundering comes with a heavy price, such as declining revenues, customer dissatisfaction and enormous penalties.
As important as AML compliance is, firms often struggle to conduct these screenings effectively. The main challenges that firms face regarding AML reporting include:
Increased Pressure from Global Regulations
According to Deloitte, 62% of banks and financial institutions cite increasing regulatory expectations as the greatest challenge with AML compliance.
The regulatory framework for AML compliance has accelerated tremendously over the last year. Governments and regulatory bodies worldwide continue to fight against money laundering and other financial crimes. As a result, companies experience pressure from growing AML regulations and due diligence requirements.
To keep pace with the ever-changing laws, firms must invest considerable time and effort in keeping personnel informed of new developments.
More Sophisticated Criminals & Networks
Between 2 and 5% of the global GDP (as much as $2 trillion) is laundered each year.
Money launderers operate in complex networks to exploit vulnerabilities in traditional institutional procedures, like banking, auditing and trade finance. These criminals constantly find new, unexpected ways to hide their crimes.
For example, cryptocurrencies have become an increasingly popular vehicle for money laundering. The anonymity of crypto makes it much easier to hide the origins of dirty money.
Time Wasted on False Positives
False positives happen when a system flags a genuine customer for enhanced due diligence because their name matches one on the Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) or sanctions list. For example, false positives tend to happen if multiple people withdraw the same amount on the same day. If one of those customers is suspicious, the rest will also get flagged.
As a result, firms may waste time and energy investigating unwarranted cases, which can frustrate the customers in question. If false positives become a regular occurrence, it could also damage the firm’s reputation.
Insufficient Screening Systems
As criminal networks evolve, companies may struggle to maintain a level of security that effectively prevents financial crimes. With the development of technology, compliance officers need robust digital systems to meet their AML obligations.
Being an worldwide association of independent firms, our members follow various legal and regulatory frameworks. Many of our members manage cross-border and multi-jurisdictional AML compliance requirements. That’s no easy task.
INAA’s mission is to help our members serve their clients better by offering guidance and solutions to overcome their accounting and auditing challenges. That’s why we partnered with AML compliance platform, Relian, to provide a simple way to conduct AML and KYC screening, auditing and reporting.
Our goal is to provide pragmatic tools that minimise your workload so that you can focus on your core business –– instead of tedious internal procedures.
Subscribing to Relian gives INAA members access to various features, including:
- AML/KYC screening, auditing and reporting platform.
- Workflow management.
- Permanent monitoring.
- Portfolio analysis and management information system.
- Risk classification and identification.
- Automated intake forms and UBO forms.
- API connectivity and automated synchronisation.
- Customisation options.
- Optional add-on modules.
- ISO certified for data security and management.
Step up your efforts to avoid non-compliance and protect your business from financial crime. Subscribe to Relian’s AML compliance platform today.
<Subscribe to Relian>
Relian supports companies with screening and reporting tools as part of the overall risk management framework.
Based in the Netherlands but operating globally, Relian has a strong track record in offering subscription-based modules as a tool to help firms comply with AML and KYC legislation.
Sanction screening, watch lists, PEP identification, lousy-press screening and country risk mapping are all key contributors to the Relian platform.
Stay AML Compliant with INAA
Here at INAA, we connect accounting firms who aim to deliver quality professional services around a shared vision to make global business personal and take personal business global. With every industry change, our collaborative association of international businesses is committed to being a part of the conversation around auditing and accounting.
Join today to start building powerful business relationships.
RealWire: Banks could save at least $12 million each year by improving their KYC/AML systems.