Financial crime detection and prevention are increasing in complexity for BSA/AML professionals as new technologies and challenges arise each year. The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially increased the need for fraud detection across the country, with hard dollar losses keeping financial organizations on their toes. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the sanctions burden has seemingly doubled. The Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) updates sanctions almost daily, sometimes several times a day, and banks need to be prepared to address these updates immediately.
Considering these new threats, a lack of human or technical resources to combat crime is unacceptable regardless of budget constraints—yet financial institutions report staffing issues and shortages. A recent and notable consent order shows the dangers of turning to an unqualified or inept third-party institution to perform some or all BSA/AML duties to meet regulations. But when best practices are followed and due diligence is completed, seeking third-party assistance is a sound business practice for ensuring that all BSA requirements are met within an AML program. Collaboration can help financial institutions save time and money, allowing them to forgo expensive hiring and onboarding processes and utilize a team with years of expertise for immediate assistance.