4,000 AML analysts, each made more effective

Challenge

“We must meet our target operating model as efficiently as possible – we need a 20% uplift in case throughput within the next 6 months. Whilst we moved forward with Arachnys because their unstructured and emerging market data would help us with clearing our AML alerts, we believe in the ability of the team we met to achieve agility and industry-leading innovation.”

Global Head of Financial Crime Compliance Controls

An internal case study at this client uncovered that up to 40% of the workload of a 4,000 analyst team was entirely duplicative in the process of clearing AML investigation alerts, generated from roughly 10 million retail clients and a very large correspondent banking workload.

Individual AML investigations were painful because of challenges in finding risk relevant data coupled with trying to achieve a standardized approach across a significant amount of manual work. The bank needed to combine premium data providers with open source information, for example sometimes using Google to uncover nature of business information – to help understand why a transaction had taken place between counterparties -, while using premium watchlist providers to then assess risk. This process was entirely manual and involved extensive copy-pasting of information to generate a report and audit trail.

Duplication was caused by the architecture common to most case-management systems – a case-based, rather than a customer-based, approach means that making risk decisions was like looking through a straw; analysts would end up repeating external research. Duplication was also found in the way work was passed between team members – for example, such as when a case was escalated due to adverse findings.

A desire for greater effectiveness led to a 9-vendor RFP. As Arachnys went through a shortlisting process, we leveraged our agility to accelerate delivery of a key piece of functionality to structure and automate nature of business searching. The client was so impressed that we were chosen for an exclusive pilot to validate the new functionality. This has since gone live and the enhancements have been rolled into our core product for other institutions to use.

Solution

Arachnys ran an initial pilot and were tasked with demonstrating an efficiency saving. The implementation was tough – we learned that we needed much greater access to individual teams and better stakeholder alignment over precise metrics. These measures were put in place and as a result, the pilot concluded successfully – the decision was to go live enterprise-wide for the compliance function.

After signature on the full implementation paperwork was completed, it took just 8 weeks to go from the pilot users to over 1,500 analysts across 40 countries. Arachnys have since implemented much more frequent executive meetings, enabling a much better alignment – we’ve learned the importance of partnership with large institutions, and acting as one team.

Outcomes

We are delighted to say that since this adoption, there has been a 34% uplift in the speed to clear cases run through our platform. In response, the client have doubled usage to 3,000 FTEs and are now contemplating the use of Arachnys’ platform in onboarding clients and in periodic review.

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.