Ozona Bank | Advisory Services & BAM+

The Challenge: Learning the Ropes as a New BSA officer

Kathy Gold was with Ozona Bank for 20 years before joining the BSA/AML team in 2014. She learned the ropes of BSA by assisting the former BSA Officer, whom she had worked with for years.

Through her experience as Teller Supervisor/Head Teller, Kathy was familiar with CTRs, SARs and other elements of BSA compliance. However, just like with any new job, there was bound to be a learning curve.

Kathy joined the BSA team right around the same time Ozona Bank introduced BAM. Before, their BSA monitoring was completely manual. Ozona had recently experienced some growth so the board and the BSA department identified the need to automate. They knew they couldn’t let anything slip through the cracks.

We had the OCC in-house for the last three weeks... he asked some questions and we got [Advisory Services] on the phone. They were able to satisfy his answers… He was impressed with us moving forward with BAM.”
Kathy Gold, Ozona Bank

The Solution: On-Site Training and Continuous Support from Advisory Services

In late 2015/early 2016, Kathy became the official BSA Officer at Ozona. She seized this opportunity to take a whole new look at their BSA/AML compliance program. Though she had been involved in some of the initial BAM training, she felt that it would be worthwhile to revisit all of its capabilities. The board agreed to bring the Abrigo team on-site to retrain their staff on BAM+.

The retraining was helpful in getting back up to speed. However, in her new role, Kathy saw some areas of BSA/AML that she still wanted to reassess.

During the transition within the BSA department, Ozona Bank had started, but never completed, a data integrity review.

The goal of a data integrity review is to analyze the accuracy of data flowing into BAM+ from various departments, systems, and sources. Wanting to start off on the right foot, Kathy decided to utilize her resources at Abrigo.

To complete the data integrity review, the risk management consultants from Abrigo looked at samples of different transactions and data sets from all areas of the bank. They made sure the data was moving into BAM+ correctly and efficiently.

This helps ensure that the bank is accurately identifying potentially suspicious activity.

Additionally, they guided Ozona through an analysis of its Rules Based Risk Rating (RBRR) report. Within the software, this tool assigns a quantitative point value to every customer within an institution based on different risk factors. It takes the subjectivity out of risk rating, making the process more efficient and consistent.

Abrigo spent five days on-site at Ozona, making sure everything that was re-implemented in the fall was working well in the winter (right before the regulators came!). The impact was immediate. Right away, Kathy felt more confident about the data and began to save time and resources by working in BAM+.

The retraining was helpful in getting back up to speed. However, in her new role, Kathy saw some areas of BSA/AML that she still wanted to reassess.

The Result: A Confident BSA Officer and Impressed Regulators

With a new BSA Officer, semi-recent growth into new markets and a recently recalibrated BSA/AML automation system, there were a lot of moving parts that could have posed a potential problem for the bank. Thanks to supportive upper management at Ozona and the guidance of Abrigo’s Advisory Services, the regulators were impressed.

While they are still ironing out a few manual processes unrelated to the software, the BSA team is very close to being entirely automated. Kathy is looking forward to the day she can work entirely out of BAM+.
Until then, she jokes that she has her contact at Abrigo on speed dial. We bet she’s not the only one.

The manual processes that I do take about three hours. I can get what I need to do in BAM+ done in 30 minutes.
Kathy Gold, Ozona Bank
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