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Financial crime compliance is ripe for innovation

Banks must keep spending on systems that deliver more efficient anti-money laundering as crises spur financial crime.

Gudmundur Kristjánsson, chief executive of Lucinity

Lucinity, an anti-money laundering (AML) software developer headquartered in Reykjavik, closed a $17 million Series-B investment round in July led by Keen Venture Partners and supported by Experian, the credit reporting company.

Lucinity also announced an agreement to provide know-your-business analysis and risk assessments to Experian, as well as a separate partnership with fraud prevention platform Seon.

Gudmundur Kristjánsson, who previously served as director of compliance surveillance technology at Citigroup and was director of product management at Nice Systems, building compliance systems for top-tier banks around the world, founded Lucinity in 2018 and is its chief executive.

"I knew of a problem which needed solving," Kristjánsson tells Euromoney. "The suspicious activity report (SAR) system is broken. It is an endless box-ticking exercise and a hugely time-consuming compilation of pointless reports, most of which aren't even from suspicious transactions.”

Black box

Many of the systems banks use date back to the aftermath of September 11, 2001, before the advent of the smartphone.

Banks have tried to automate financial crime compliance, often using artificial intelligence.

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