Financial crime is a growing concern these days and, consequently, measures to prevent it are a big focus for financial services firms. Effective anti-money laundering (AML) programs are a growing priority, alongside know your customer (KYC) efforts—but implementing either of them isn’t just a matter of signing on and hitting the “start” button.

Read the report
Read the report

Our paper, Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer Programs: Sustainability through Managed Services, and the corresponding SlideShare, explore the challenges involved. We point out that for some firms, increasing demands around AML and KYC reviews are stretching across more business lines, pushing production volume skyward. Challenges are coming both internally, due to expanding policies and standards combined with rising operating volume, and externally, from ongoing regulatory change.

Institutions need to capture new—and more—information than ever before. In some cases, as reported in our paper, institutions are seeing 25-fold increases in AML/KYC production volumes.

Naturally, many banks have stepped up their efforts to build the right processes, tools and technologies to support solid programs. But these components are not all that is needed. As demand for these programs increases, the demand on the financial workforce increases correspondingly. A good AML/KYC workforce features the right mix of leadership, talent and competency around managing financial crime risk. We take an in-depth look at the right mix in our paper, Leveraging Enhanced Talent Development Programs to Increase Anti-Money Laundering Workforce Effectiveness.

One conclusion that is unsurprising given the rapidly increasing demand: The AML workforce at many firms is overworked, fatigued and unprepared for the higher demand. Turnover among these specifically skilled individuals is high. Making matters worse, too often efforts to build an AML workforce from existing talent are lagging. Training and talent management initiatives can be fragmented and inconsistent—or, they lack the right focus and don’t build the skills needed now and into the future.

This conundrum is being faced by many financial firms, and is likely to expand to others. What can these businesses do to ensure a strong pool of talent to underpin strong AML/KYC programs? In my next several posts, I’ll look at the specific challenges, and offer suggestions for how businesses can address them.

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