Richard Grint, head of financial crime at PA Consulting, is quoted in Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence’s article on commercial fraud, money laundering and related developments affecting financial services firms. The piece looks at new strategies and EU regulation to tackle economic crime.
The article references the newly created National Economic Crime Centre (NECC) to coordinate enforcement agencies' efforts and pool information. It goes on to explain that the NECC has been supplemented by the new Economic Crime Strategy Board (ECSB), whose membership includes senior executives from retail banks, UK Finance and the NCA.
“Establishing the NECC and ECSB is a huge step forward in the UK's work tackling economic crime,” said Richard.
He continues: “For the first time, the public and private sectors will have the means to collaborate (drawing on the success of the Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce), share data and deal with increasingly complex economic crime more effectively. It's already starting to make a difference.”
The article notes that the ECSB's first meeting was in January, at which the government announced funding to reform the money laundering suspicious activity report (SAR) regime. The author adds that the NCA has complained it is inundated with low-quality SARs, making detecting significant risks harder.
“The current SAR regime relies too much on manual entries and can't use the full range of technological tools available, including AI and machine learning to automatically triage reports,” Richard continues.
“This leads to delays in law enforcement agencies reviewing and acting on SARs. Financial services institutions often receive little or no feedback on the reports they've submitted,” he adds.
The article goes on to look at the EU's Fourth Money Laundering Directive (4MLD) and the revised version, 5MLD.
Richard explains that the changes will benefit the entire system by making high-risk sectors operate to regulatory standards.
He goes on to say: “Financial services firms will need to re-evaluate the risk profile of those sectors in their internal risk models. If they rely on financial crime checks carried out by an estate agent or art dealer, they'll need to make sure those are aligned with their own policies and standards. That will also need to be fully documented [as with] similar regulated third parties.”