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Increased AML regulatory oversight and enforcement actions anticipated by about 45 per cent of respondents 

NICE Actimize, a NICE (NASDAQ:NICE) business and the largest and broadest provider of a single financial crime, risk and compliance software platform for the financial services industry, released a global survey today outlining the top operational market drivers and spending priorities that are shaping the strategies behind current CDD/KYC anti-money laundering programs.

Titled, “Accelerating Value of CDD/KYC Programs with Automation Technologies in a Complex Global Market,” the survey showed that an overwhelming 63 percent of respondents from financial services organizations said their number one budget priority was to increase spend on automation through the adoption of new technologies over the next 12-18 months.

Additionally, 49 percent indicated that their budgets would increase over the previous year, with only 8 percent indicating that they were anticipating budget cuts or decreases. Other spending patterns covered in the survey noted the importance of training programs for existing staff (38 percent) and increased staffing requirements (36 percent).

The NICE Actimize survey also focused on the top market trends influencing CDD/KYC program strategies. According to the findings, some of these trends include the importance of company reputation in the marketplace (indicated by 59 percent as “very influential”); new beneficial ownership regulations (indicated by 51 percent as “very influential”); and regulatory focus on model risk management and model validation (indicated by 45 percent as “very influential”). In response to anticipated changes within the regulatory landscape following the recent US elections, about 45 percent stated that they expected to see an increase in anti-money laundering regulatory oversight and enforcement actions.

“We feel that this survey exposes the dissonance between long-term strategy and short-term reality. While looking to incorporate more automation and technology, respondents are grappling with the expense of additional overhead to address regulatory requirements,” said Joe Friscia, President, NICE Actimize, “We are currently focused on developing intelligent automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence-based solutions that function as enablers to enhance the quality and consistency of CDD/KYC programs while reducing the cost of compliance.”

The NICE Actimize market survey, “Accelerating Value of CDD/KYC Programs with Automation Technologies in a Complex Global Market” was conducted online in March 2017 via a range of digital channels. About 36 percent of the survey respondents came from financial institutions across North America, with respondents from EMEA and APAC comprising about 45 percent of the total.

The majority of the respondents, about 69 percent, indicated that they were responsible for banking segment business units. The remaining mix of respondents consisted of money service bureaus (7 percent), securities firms (5 percent), and insurance (3 percent) segments. Respondents from payment processor/networks, government, gaming and other segments each contributed 2 percent or less of the total.

About 18 percent of the institutions surveyed had assets greater than $100 billion, 2 percent of had assets between $60 and $99.9 billion, 5 percent had assets of $40 to 59.9 billion,13 percent had assets between $10 billion to $39.9 billions and 45 percent had less than $10B in assets.

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