25% cost saving in wealth management onboarding, in 6 months

Challenge

Back in 2016, our second ever big enterprise engagement was with a Tier 1 Global Bank, headquartered in NY. Not only were we lucky to have been selected by the bank as a vendor to work with, but we were truly empowered by the client to productize their requirements in a way that would meet market needs through a deep relationship and a one-team, agile approach to implementation.

“To stay ahead, we know as a bank that we have to stop bad people doing bad things – that’s how all regulation will trend..”

Chief Administrative Officer

The client was focused on onboarding high risk wealth management customers. They faced 3 consecutive years of 10% cost saving targets to meet, while ensuring their process met the regulatory requirements for high risk Enhanced Due Diligence – a standardized risk-led approach across every country literally from Antarctica to Zimbabwe. The team was 250 high-skill analysts in the UK, Singapore and the US, carrying out EDD and QA. 

Solution

The depth and breadth of the EDD requirement was particularly challenging – the bank needed to search beyond standard adverse media providers, searching local court registers to determine very detailed risk factors, such as if clients had been convicted rather than held under suspicion. Arachnys digitalized all of these processes, ensuring complete policy adherence and a much more streamlined approach.

Outcomes

We not only met, but far exceeded the cost saving target required. A 73% reduction in QA failure led to a 25% cost saving within 6 months, as well as far greater regulatory confidence!

Since then, the bank has experienced further savings through a deeper understanding of its processes, driven by our “one platform” approach to EDD. As just one example of this, the bank was able to use data to justify policy changes around the the adverse keywords used in part of the process – certain terms were found exclusively to be triggering false positives. Arachnys’ platform gave the bank the confidence to reduce 45 adverse terms down to 25, allowing analysts to spend more time researching where they could add value rather than reviewing false positives.

The implementation took place over 3 months – Arachnys helped conduct a review of every policy for each country worldwide, which was a total of 8 processes with around 900 permutations (for example, within the US, a litigation search would leverage different court records depending on the state).

Once the product was live, the bank then decided to leverage Arachnys to drive a true entity-led approach – extending the use case beyond onboarding. What this meant was that in addition to running EDD at the point of KYC, the bank would be able to run a top up research report whenever one of their existing clients crossed the high risk threshold and thus needed EDD.

We productised a customer-centric architecture to make it possible to search just the additional information needed, rather than re-doing the entire file from scratch. A full integration was completed with their internal systems, which were being parallel, and went live within 6 months. Arachnys provided 24 hour production support as the platform became strategic to the bank. The project was so successful, that it was featured on the bank’s intranet homepage as “the best vendor relationship we have ever had”.

Jim is a Financial Crime Intelligence professional with experience at major financial institutions, Fintechs and quasi-governmental bodies. Jim is a specialist in using data to investigate complex financial crime in communicating those findings to senior; military, government and business leaders.