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News

Increasing Focus On PEP Identification and Customer Screening at Swiss Banks

Datanomic : 02 September, 2010  (Technical Article)
Datanomic discusses the needs of the Swiss banking industry to fall in line with established practices in money-laundering prevention and other forms of financial fraud as a result of growing international pressure
Increasing incidents of money laundering, tax avoidance, fraud, and growing pressure from the US, France, Germany and other countries, is forcing the Swiss banking industry to review its policies around banking transparency and compliance with international regulatory compliance regimes. As a result, the ability to screen customers against global sanctions lists and identify PEPs (Politically Exposed Persons) has never been more important, according to risk and compliance screening and data management specialist, Datanomic.

The Swiss banking industry is under increasing pressure to reconsider its tradition of banking secrecy in order to comply with international regulatory regimes protecting against money laundering, terrorism financing and tax evasion; and avoid the possibility of international prosecution, regulatory fines, and corporate reputational damage.

"Screening against sanctions lists and identifying PEPs is now paramount in today's regulatory business climate, and especially for the Swiss banking industry in light of stricter reporting against money laundering," said Dr Jonathan Pell, CEO of Datanomic. "However, Swiss banks will want to continue to preserve client confidentiality whilst creating complete auditability for regulators. Our dn:Director for Sanctions & PEP Screening not only enables banks to host and manage the solution in-house under their own control, but they can also restrict access to hierarchical levels of customer data to authorized users within their compliance teams to ensure complete customer confidentiality. The complete auditability of the decision and case history for every review within dn:Director also ensures easy compilation of any information they might need to send to a regulator."

According to the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police, reports on suspicious financial transactions increased by 5.3 per cent last year and concerned assets relating to 2.23 billion Swiss francs. With many governments feeling the pinch from the economic downturn and seeking to decrease deficits, focus is quickly turning to rooting out domestic tax evaders with secreted wealth, meaning pressure is mounting on Swiss banks to participate more openly in the global drive against financial crime. Such a move would inevitably require an increase in the importance of screening of customers for regulatory compliance.

The dn:Director for Sanctions & PEP Screening solution offers exceptional accuracy for proactive risk protection, whilst minimising 'false positives' (potential matches requiring additional manual assessment) which can often be a burdensome bi-product of other automated screening solutions. Different processes and risk profiles across business units can be accommodated by the dn:Director solution to allow for complete tailoring to match the Compliance procedures of every client. It also provides an electronic 'results book' providing a full audit trail of Sanctions & PEP screening activity for compliance reporting.

Datanomic's dn:Director for Sanctions & PEP Screening software is used to screen in excess of five billion client records every month, in more than 100 countries. The solution is the de facto standard for risk and compliance screening for the UK financial services sector, and has already been implemented by some of the world's largest banks, insurers, asset and wealth managers and other financial services institutions to reduce their global Compliance risk, and this pattern is now spreading to other industries.
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