Financial crime and compliance management, or FCCM, is an area of operations that banks often treat as an afterthought. Most bank executives think that it’s enough to simply have FCCM protocols in place so that they can satisfy the demands of regulators. Big investments for the bank’s overall profitability tend to go elsewhere, such as marketing campaigns. But as recent studies have proven, better FCCM strategies can actually be used by banks to strengthen their competitive advantage. It may be time for banks to give this often-neglected area of operations some new perspective and to consciously incorporate it into their profitability plans.
A more robust system for tasks like AML investigation not only keeps FCCM tasks simpler, more lightweight, and more cost-efficient. The upgrade may also improve your bank’s standing with the people whose trust you rely on, namely your regulators and your clients. Paired with other strategies to increase profit, better FCCM policies could put your bank in a leading position to earn. That’s why you must think of compliance that exceeds the bare minimum—and discover for yourself how FCCM can increase your bank’s value.
How FCCM Factors into Your Profitability
How exactly does bolstered FCCM affect your bank’s profitability? To help you visualize just how big of a role FCCM plays, here are four things for you to consider.
Better FCCM Affords Greater Protection Against Financial Losses from Financial Crime
Those who work in the finance sector cannot deny that money launderers are getting better at covering their tracks. Before you know it, money that clients had entrusted to your bank will have disappeared forever at the hands of malicious agents. Better AML compliance solutions are your best line of defense against increasingly intelligent money launderers and other agents of financial crime. They can help your bank avoid the worst-case scenario and save you from steep financial losses.
Better FCCM Will Lower Operating Costs for Your Bank
A strengthened system for FCCM, built on a solid data foundation, will also enhance productivity during investigations. For your staff members in charge of compliance, that will mean less time and effort spent on individual cases. Your bank will enjoy lower operating costs on overhead and overtime pay, because compliance staff are working smarter and spending less time on manual data management.
Better FCCM Saves You Money on Penalties from Regulatory Bodies
Another opportunity to save money through bolstered FCCM practices lies in your regulatory reporting. You can use new software tools to generate quick, accurate FCCM reports that you can pass to regulators on time. This will help you avoid penalties and, more importantly, keep your bank in the good graces of your regulators.
Better FCCM Will Give You a Stronger Brand Reputation for Safe and Secure Banking
A good reputation among your customers is worth its weight in gold. This is something you can actively work to cultivate with your FCCM practices. Be the banking brand that your customers choose because they know how seriously you take FCCM—and because they know their money’s safe with you.
What Can You Do to Improve Your Bank’s Current FCCM Framework?
Now that you know the value of strengthening your FCCM, it’s now a question of implementing the necessary changes to your workflow. Below are some important tips for improving your bank’s current FCCM strategy.
Adopt a Pattern-Based Approach for Detecting Financial Crime
First, acknowledge that it’s not enough to work on a case-to-case basis, flag individual transactions, and slowly weed through all the false positives. This approach takes too much time, costs too much money, and in the end isn’t the most effective way to go about compliance. Instead, your bank should shift towards an FCCM approach that uses data to detect alarming patterns or networks of behavior. That’s the best way to predict potential sources of trouble.
Upgrade Your Toolset and Your Methods
Given that malicious agents are always in the process of finding new ways to subvert AML initiatives, it’s absolutely necessary that you stay ahead of them. You can only do so by modernizing both your tech stack and your bank’s protocols for carrying out FCCM. If they’re capable of evolving their methods in the near future, you need the right hardware, software, and strategy to be able to counter.
Keep Track of Standards Set by Your Regulators
The standards set by regulators aren’t static, and they’re due to change as a response to what’s happening in the industry. Knowing that, be proactive about tracking changes that affect the delivery of your AML reporting. Adopt a system for staying updated with your regulators so that it will be easy to comply come reporting time.
Profits, a good reputation, and a future in the finance industry aren’t guaranteed to your bank by default. All are things that you actively have to work for. But one aspect of operations that can contribute to all of these is your FCCM. With an updated toolkit and a forward-thinking approach, you can transform your bank’s FCCM into an active driver of profit. Put compliance in your list of priorities, and adopt an FCCM strategy that truly works for your bank.