Effective AML Case Management: Steps, Tips and Traits

November 29, 2023

As part of reviewing suspicious activities, financial institutions will require anti-money laundering (AML) case management. With its detection rules, transactions linked to criminal activities can be picked out and escalated accordingly.

Case Management Processes and Steps

Case management processes vary depending on each financial institution and the regulations of each country. Typically, this process includes the following six steps:

  • Screening

Firstly, analysts at financial institutions will screen all the transactions. Detection rules have initially been put in place within the system so that suspicious activities can be singled out, for example transactions to and/or from high-risk jurisdictions. This is an essential first step so that suspicious transactions will not go unnoticed.

  • Assessing

Once the suspicious transactions have been flagged out, analysts will proceed to assess whether these transactions are indeed related to criminal activities. This means a more thorough analysis is conducted on the customer background and the activities. Analysts will then determine the risk level, ranging from low to high, for the respective case based on their assessments.

  • Planning

Planning helps the team to allocate their manpower and time according to risk levels. A higher risk case will naturally warrant greater amount of planning and resources. A dynamic team is required during the planning stage in responding to changing scenarios of the detected activities.

  • Implementing

With a clear plan in mind, the team can proceed to implement the plan. The success of the implementation depends on the support given by the financial institutions. The right amount of resources can help the team to execute the plan timely and effectively.

  • Following-up

At this stage, the team will follow up on the result of the implementation stage. Clear and targeted key performance indicators (KPIs) are required so that the team can measure the success of their plans.

  • Evaluating

After following up on the case, the team should gather feedback from within and outside the AML team. Inputs from stakeholders outside the AML team is useful to determine the missing gaps in the whole process.

Why is it Important?

With the proliferation of money laundering cases, financial institutions should promptly investigate and escalate any suspicious activities. Given the massive volume and veracity of the transactions, compliance team often feel-overwhelmed when handling alerts and investigating cases. Using traditional solution is insufficient to detect these cases. Without a proper structure governing the compliance teams, this will result in backlog of cases, delay in escalation or even misdirection of alerts.

Traits of Effective AML Case Management System

For AML case management system to be effective, it has to possess the following traits:

  • Highly customizable workflows

Workflows within the system are customizable, allowing greater flexibility regardless of the role and the size of the teams.

  • Reliable audit trails

Each team member is accountable at each stage of their work. This ensures that audit trails can be protected where every process of the AML case management system is properly documented.

  • AI and ML technologies

With better Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) techniques, the number of false positive alerts can further be minimized, hence making the system more robust in detecting suspicious activities.

  • Quickly adaptable to AML regulatory changes

The case management system can be adjusted to meet the changing AML regulations, ensuring that the system is constantly adaptable to the current money laundering trends.

  • Automated SARs filling

The AML case management system also offers automated Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) filing feature, increasing the productivity of the team further in handling a case.

Comply quickly with local/global regulations with 80% less setup time

FOCAL's Advanced Case Management Solution

Aligned with FOCAL's mission to dismantle AML compliance barriers and push financial institutions in emerging markets to greater heights, FOCAL recognizes the importance of having an advanced case management solution.

Thus, we introduced Alert and Case Workflow as a new addition to our Case Management Solution, enabling compliance teams to create pools based on customized transactions detection rules, desired jurisdictions and customers risk scores and then assign them to the relevant teams.

Handling alerts and managing cases will become a seamless and transparent process, from creating case investigations to audit trailing and filing of SARs.

Learn more about FOCAL's case management solution.

Key Benefits of Effective Case Management Systems

Below are some of the main benefits from utilizing effective case management systems such as FOCAL's advanced case management solution:

  • Time efficient

Through intuitive workflows, team members can understand their designated roles better, reducing investigation time. The team can also utilize the saved time on more value-adding work instead of mundane processes.

  • Specialization

A clear structure will be established within the team for each compliance function. Team allocation can also be done based on their geographical locations, streamlining the operations even more.

  • Enhanced transparency

Through better visibility of case management within each team, decision making process can be further improved. Respective teams will better understand their roles and responsibility from this transparent case management solution.

  • Flexible and intuitive workflows

With FOCAL, team members can easily build custom workflows based on transaction rules, desired jurisdictions and customers risk scores. Case management solution is no longer defined by geographic restrictions and customer risk level.

Streamline your case management processes and team's daily compliance operations with FOCAL. Schedule a demo today.

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