For some people, going on vacation is a necessary break. For BSA professionals, it can be nothing but major stress. The compliance department is already one of the most understaffed areas of the institution and when staff turnover occurs or an employee goes on vacation or family leave, it can be cause for panic.
What about seasonality with your alerts? Does tax season or holiday retail volumes give you more alerts than you can handle with current staffing? Or if the unthinkable happens, you self-detect, or your regulators require that a look-back of alerts are needed because of possible missing suspicious activity? Can you handle that increased workload while keeping current on all day-to-day regulatory deadlines?
But there is no need to hit the panic button because there are easy solutions to these problems.
Abrigo’s Suspicious Activity Monitoring Solution (SAMS) is the perfect staffing solution for long- and short-term needs in the BSA department. Our advisory services team of highly trained experts works as a seamless extension of an institution’s BSA department, offering the relief they need in the time frame they need it with no BSA training required.
With a Suspicious Activity Monitoring Solution package, Abrigo assigns an experienced financial crimes professional as project manager for the institution. Their goal is to help the institution where they need it most: working alerts, investigating cases, writing SARs, conducting customer due diligence (CDD) reviews or high-risk reviews, or serving as an independent quality control arm for the institution. The attention of work can change during the course of the contract as the institution’s needs change.
So what can an institution expect with a SAMS agreement?
- Experienced financial investigator(s) to act as an extension of the BSA department – Abrigo’s Advisory Services team assigns a financial crimes professional as project manager for each institution. The project manager will lead seasoned investigators assigned to augment your BSA staff to fit your unique needs. The investigators have worked with multiple BSA transaction monitoring systems and in most instances, can get right to work. (Yes, we work with institutions that do not use BAM+ for their transaction monitoring software!) The goal is for the investigators to seamlessly work with the rest of your financial crimes team.
- Clear details on what an institution can expect from the work – Abrigo’s team schedules a kick-off call before the work begins to detail what can be expected and how the financial investigator(s) will work. Because our financial investigators come with in-depth BSA compliance knowledge, they use this time to learn what systems the institution has in place and how they currently work through alerts, cases, etc. Are there specific templates they need to use, or should they create one? What level of detail do they currently rely on in their alert disposition?
- Detailed, high-quality work – Our Advisory Services team prides themselves on providing the highest quality of work whether they are working alerts, reviewing cases, or doing additional customer due diligence. They provide in-depth analysis of each alert or case and the reason behind their decision to clear it or escalate. As the Abrigo team has had the opportunity to work with many institutions and their regulators, they understand what is needed in analysis and documentation to ensure a seamless examination.
- A set of fresh eyes – Abrigo’s financial crimes investigators have not routinely reviewed an institution’s customers or members. They start their analysis without preconceived opinions and perform their due diligence with fresh eyes on every aspect of a suspicious transaction or alert. This gives them the ability to look at each alert from a new, unique perspective. Because of this, BSA professionals give a second look at an alert or transaction that they may have originally dismissed as not suspicious.
- Sanity – With confidence in Abrigo’s advisory services team to perform the work needed, BSA professionals can finally look at that vacation as a time to relax. They do not need to stress when an employee has an unexpected illness or needs to be out for an extended period on maternity or paternity leave. Abrigo’s team of skilled and CAMS-certified investigators are here to take that added stress off the shoulders of BSA professionals. We know they carry enough there as it is.
Things happen. Every institution will need an extra set of hands or a fresh pair of eyes from time to time. Abrigo’s Suspicious Activity Monitoring Solution is here to help. Their goal is to make the work as seamless as possible so the BSA team forgets they are using outside help. Contact us today to get started. We are here for your success, no matter what transaction monitoring software you use or if you manually monitor transactions.