Is This the Year That Sanctions, AML, and Cybersecurity in Correspondent Banking Converge? ACAMS 2017 Panel
The economic sanctions landscape is changing daily. But how can organizations keep pace? This was the central question of a mid-morning panel discussion today at the ACAMS Conference in Las Vegas, “Is This the Year That Sanctions, AML, and Cybersecurity in Correspondent Banking Converge?”
As the panel noted, much of this began with the Obama administration. While that administration eased sanctions on some nations, like Cuba, it also put in place more robust guidance on technology that financial institutions could leverage in their anti-money laundering posture. But with a new administration comes uncertainty, which means sometimes organizations must look for sanctions guidance from other sources.
As was recently reported, Canada moved to impose sanctions on 40 top officials from Venezuela. Panelist Lisa Grigg, Chief Enterprise Financial Crimes Compliance Executive, US Bank, noted, watching for announcements like this – and getting those names into your respective AML system – is a great way for financial institutions to keep pace.
For Scott Butler, vice president in Global Financial Crimes Compliance, Treasury Services Advisory, at JP Morgan Chase, this also is an opportunity for financial institutions to collaborate with other institutions and law enforcement. Data sharing between institutions, and with public-private partnerships, the panel agreed, are the way forward. Likewise, institutions are getting better at improving their own processes.
“I’ve seen an amazing amount of change in the last few years…the cyber team is now at the table,” Butler noted. As he explained, cyber teams – or skilled professionals who can navigate technology – must shadow investigations teams and financial institutions. But, as Grigg added, this also means that financial institutions must work across silos, including human resources, to outline the skills needed and recruit the best talent.
This also served as a reminder to the audience to be mindful of barriers within their own respective organizations, and to share data. As Vikas Agarwal, principal with PwC, explained, organizations must enact requirements on technology and data flows. “On the one hand it’s a really good thing… on the other hand it’s very onerous.”
Butler agreed, adding that organizations often must have a process for monitoring customer habits, and in-turn, exploit theirown information through data mining and analytics.
As the panel noted, this is where institutions can find a best practice and make suggestions to regulators. If anything, this seems like a path toward convergence in the AML space.