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Regulation: For AML, fintech is both problem and answer

For a sector reeling from money laundering scandals, it’s tempting to imagine that technology could be a low-cost way of solving such problems. AI could be a game changer for detecting low-level crime, but corporate-scale laundromats will remain tough to crack.


One subject never fails to light up the eyes of senior bankers and regulators when they’re questioned about their efforts to end the money laundering-related scandals that have spread across northern Europe over the last two years: technology.

There can be no more damning indictment of the integrity of a bank, or its host nation, than the public revelation that a licensed institution is being used as a laundromat for ill-gotten gains. 

And what is more enlivening for money-laundering supervisors and bank-compliance officers than showing your firm and country is at the forefront of a technology that could make these troubles disappear?

Some of the biggest actors in Europe’s financial sector are converts. 

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority is particularly enthusiastic about using technology to fight money laundering. 

If you want to do KYC and anti-money laundering right, you can’t do it in a manual way - Bart Leurs, Rabobank

HSBC, too, has spent hundreds of millions of pounds on financial crime technology in the last few years, including integrating data analytics software from London-based financial crime fintech Quantexa.

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