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Leveraging AI to Enhance Anti-Money Laundering Efforts

Contributed by Jarret Tham, Head of Compliance



In recent months, the world has been inundated with the new buzzword - AI or Artificial Intelligence. From ChatGPT to robotic arms in healthcare, the possibilities are endless.

On 25 July 2023, FT Advisor published an article titled 'Leveraging AI to Enhance Anti-Money Laundering Efforts'. At this current juncture, we see that the rate of financial crime is on an incline. Newer technologies and products in the market equate to malicious actors having the ability to better obscure their identities and transactions, and utilise the vast amounts of data that the finance industry handles daily in a harmful manner.

Therefore, the effective and efficient collection and analysis of vast amounts of data is crucial to ensure the timely detection and reporting of suspicious activities to combat money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/FT). The solution highlighted in the article is the use of Artificial Intelligence.

AI has the ability to draw upon machine learning algorithms and pattern recognition, leveraging both to quickly extract and analyse vast amounts of data to identify any suspicious transaction patterns, of which can be flagged to a compliance professional for the necessary review and assessment.

While the article acknowledges how AI can be a powerful tool in the fight against ML/FT, it also highlights challenges in data availability and ethics. Absolute reliance on AI for monitoring and decision-making poses the question of accountability in the event of breaches and non-compliance since AI technology can neither be fined nor jailed. Hence, proper application of AI along with transparency, explainability, and governance are required to provide assurance on the responsible use of AI as well as its integrity.

CYS Global Remit (CYS) has recently developed and introduced machine learning systems as part of our digitalization program to enhance our transaction monitoring regimes as we continue to take on larger customer pools from different jurisdictions and introduce new products.

These programs however, do not replace our transaction monitoring and compliance function groups and professionals, but instead serve a supplementary role to aid in early detection and decision-making. CYS recognizes the need for a strong compliance regime and ensures that our employees are well-trained and updated on the latest trends and regulatory changes in the fight against ML/FT and that our systems and processes are constantly reviewed and optimized to meet emerging threats. Sources: ftadviser.com

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