case study aml

A more efficient process for 3,000 AML analysts

Challenge

A large global bank, operating in over 70 countries, was looking to streamline the clearing of their AML investigations. An internal case study found that 40% of the work processes for their 3,000 strong analyst team were duplicative, which included alerts generated from around 10 million retail clients and a huge correspondent banking workload.

This duplication was caused by a common architectural problem for many systems; using a case-based approach instead of a customer-based one means analysts often repeat external research to make risk decisions. For example, when a case got escalated due to adverse findings, other team members would then repeat the same steps. Individual AML investigations were also tough due to the challenges of finding risk-relevant data, all whilst standardizing an approach to reduce manual work.

To understand why a transaction had taken place between counterparties, the bank needed to link research from premium data providers with open source information – sometimes using Google – and combine this with risk assessments using leading watchlist services. Again, this process was exceedingly manual, involving the copy-and-pasting of information to generate an audit trail and custom report.

“We must meet our target operating model as efficiently as possible – we need a 20% uplift in case throughput within the next 6 months.”
– Global Head of Financial Crime Compliance Controls

The need for automation and effectiveness led to a nine-vendor RFP, where Arachnys was involved in a shortlisting process. We highlighted our ability to automate business searching through the rapid delivery of a key piece of functionality. The client was impressed, and Arachnys was chosen for an exclusive pilot of this new functionality which has since gone live. Enhancements have been added to our core product for other institutions to use.

Solution

For the initial pilot, Arachnys was tasked with demonstrating savings in efficiency. During the process, we learned that greater communication between individual teams was paramount, as well as more precise metrics outlined by stakeholders. As a result of implementing these measures, the pilot was successful and go-live was to be rolled out enterprise-wide for the bank’s compliance function.

After only 12 weeks between signature and go-live, the Arachnys platform was initially introduced to 1,500 users across 40 countries, and later rolled out to 3,000 analysts across 70 countries. Arachnys continues to support the client through regular executive meetings, solidifying the partnership with this large institution and acting as one cohesive team going forward.

“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.”

Results

  • Global rollout of the Arachnys platform across ~3,000 users.
  • Increased levels of transparency between siloed teams, reducing the reuse of data and automated audit trails.
  • Go-live 12 weeks from signature to (initial) 1,500 users across 40 countries.

Following these significant changes, the client is looking to extend the use of the Arachnys platform for client onboarding and periodic review.