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OVERBURDENED COMPLIANCE STAFF IN NEED OF AUTOMATED RELIEF

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Overburdened Compliance Staff In Need Of Automated Relief

Pressure on Compliance teams has long been increasing and the FCA has been vocal recently about the fact that it is no longer looking at box ticking and controls. It is interested in ‘outputs’; in terms of how does a compliance activity translate into market or client behaviour and the quality of advice that wealth managers deliver. It is also interested in the embedding of a compliance culture – not just in the Compliance department but also across the whole firm.

In such a culture, everyone has a responsibility for Compliance. A focus on Conduct, quality and suitability of advice, know your customer and general customer and market outcomes must drive outputs in terms of behaviours.

The problem with all of this is that it is relatively vague. Without clear rules or benchmarks, how can firms ensure that they are meeting the expectations of the regulator?

Market abuse

Overburdened Compliance Staff In Need Of Automated Relief

Overburdened Compliance Staff In Need Of Automated Relief

Recent cases have seen enforcement against traders including bans and huge fines for market abuse relating to trader conduct. In some of these instances few, if any, in the industry can truly identify what was actually wrong.

For example in a recent case the FCA notice focused on a trader’s conduct, mainly because there was little actual quantitative evidence relating to the trading impropriety that allegedly took place. There are references to the fact that he acquired too much of a particular bond and accounted for a large percentage of the trading turnover, yet there are no comparative quantum caps imposed in market abuse regulations. Instead the FCA makes reference to ‘particularly egregious‘ conduct which fell far below the standards of integrity expected of FCA approved persons. Yet there is no definition of what this actually means – there are no quantitative benchmarks of the expected levels of conduct integrity expected by the FCA. Instead there appear to be only subjective judgements.

Assessing culture

The FCA assesses culture through factors such as how firms respond to, and deal with, regulatory issues; what customers are actually experiencing when they buy a product or service from front-line staff; how a firm designs products and the considerations around this; the manner in which decisions are made or escalated; the way in which claims or complaints are handled; the behaviour of that firm in certain markets; and the remuneration structures and how a firm’s board engages in those issues and satisfies itself that the firm is operating as the Regulator expects. It therefore makes sense to focus on these key areas when designing assessment and management tools to monitor how well the business and individuals perform and to correct undesirable outcomes.

In a relatively recent FCA speech to a Mortgage Industry Conference the speaker owned up to the fact that the FCA deliberately did not have a master definition of conduct risk and that conduct risk profiles would be unique to every firm – making a one-size-fits-all approach impossible. Instead she said that the FCA has made it clear that having the right ‘culture’ i.e. one that puts customers at the heart of the firm’s business, is an important component of conduct risk. No specific definition of the kind of culture required has been offered.

In a 2013 global survey conducted by Thomson Reuters Accelus, 84% of respondents did not have a working firm-specific definition of conduct risk. This must surely be the first step that senior management need to take. They must define what ‘good’ looks like in the various elements that contribute to conduct risk and then ensure that ‘good’ happens. These elements must be benchmarked and monitored, clear policy and process designed and appropriate T&C and assessment management mechanisms put in place.

Conclusion

Getting the biggest return from their compliance investment must be the goal of all firms who want to rise to the challenge.

What firms can and must do is implement the highest levels of scrutiny. This means the monitoring, assessment and enforcement of behaviours through appropriate policy, process and technological infrastructure. In particular, the effective deployment of automated training and competence (T&C) technology and process–based decisions will relieve some of the pressure and help free up the Compliance team to concentrate on cultural change.

Only then can shortfalls and the risks they present be identified and dealt with quickly. Only then can senior management say they have done everything possible to counter conduct risk, inappropriate behaviours and outcomes.

The rest will be down to the subjective judgement of the FCA.

Neil Herbert, Director, HRComply

www.hrcomply.co.uk

Banking

Why ID verification is no longer a barrier to global growth in banking

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Why ID verification is no longer a barrier to global growth in banking 1

By Barley Laing, UK Managing Director at Melissa

Issues related to effective identity (ID) verification have restricted the global growth of both large banks and smaller challenger fintechs. With its plethora of internationally recognised IDs and verifiable private addresses, the western world is far different from much of the rest of the world, where this type of information does not exist. For example, many people in Africa and Asia lack recognised addresses. This anomaly prevents financial institutions from carrying out vital ID checks as they normally would, meaning they risk missing out on possible expansion into new and often burgeoning markets.

Proliferation of mobile

Smartphone usage is increasing in all corners of the world. Africa is no exception as the continent is  set to see another 300 million new mobile internet subscribers in the next few years. This rise offers an opportunity to financial services organisations based in the west who have been concerned about the ID verification process in countries where ID, as they know it, can be hard to obtain.

While there’s no magic bullet approach to ID verification in these countries, it’s essential to use all the sources of information the mobile device provides to inform the identity of prospective and existing customers. For example, mobile telephone numbers offer a form of digital identity as people rarely change them. These numbers can be used for dual stage verification, such as an SMS sent to the registered user’s mobile number with a unique code to complete the login to a secure website or transfer funds.

Technology is driving secure customer onboarding and ID verification via mobile. Today, prospective customers can use a merchant’s app on their smartphone to scan their identity documents – such as a driver’s licence. The scan can extract the prospect’s data from the Machine Readable Zone (MRZ), saving time while securing the correct data electronically for the financial institution. Checks can then be carried out in real time to verify the document.

The IP address of the mobile device can play a vital role in fraud prevention. It’s possible to match the location of the phone’s IP address with that of the registered owner – where they are known to live or work. If this information matches up, it’s likely the registered user is using the phone. However, suppose the device’s registered owner is based in a country different from the information provided by the phone’s current IP address. In that case, there could be fraudulent activity taking place.

But it’s not just mobile; other new technologies play significant roles in the ID process.

  • Biometrics

Biometrics, which are human physical and behavioural characteristics that can be used to digitally identify a person, are becoming a vital part of the ID verification process. Once a customer has passed the ID checks at the onboarding stage, biometrics – which can operate across all devices – may help confirm the customer’s identity with facial comparison technology. However, basic biometric services can be hackable. For example, fraudsters could obtain the photo of a customer that might enable them to gain access to that person’s account. That is why it is crucial for organisations to use a biometric algorithm that checks for eye movement as part of their ID verification process. This ensures they engage with a real live person, not a static image or avatar, to prevent fraud. Just as important is how biometrics quickly and straightforwardly enable customers to access their account or service without responding to time-consuming security questions or remembering various passwords, thereby shaping a positive experience.

  • Real-time access powers real-time decision making

When onboarding a new customer anywhere in the world, be sure to source a global dataset of billions of records. For real-time ID verification, fraud prevention, and data accuracy purposes, it should allow you to perform sufficient cross checks of the contact information provided by the prospective customers – their name, telephone number, email address, or home address. This dataset must leverage government agency, credit agency, and utility records, where possible, and access politically exposed person (PEP) watch lists.

  • Social media tells a story

Don’t forget that social media such as Facebook and Instagram provide a wealth of knowledge on those who use them. Accessing this data within the parameters of best practice data protection for ID verification purposes helps organisations identify users’ location and transactional behaviour to support the ID verification process and prevent fraud.

Evolving technology – mainly related to mobile – makes fast, accurate, and secure ID verification anywhere in the world a reality. By combining this technology with access to accurate contact data from billions of global consumers in real time, the door is open for forward-thinking financial institutions to move into new global markets and drive strong growth securely.

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Banking

Bank of Idaho Selects Teslar Software to Enhance Customer Service

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Bank of Idaho Selects Teslar Software to Enhance Customer Service 2

Partnership enables bank to spend more time with borrowers, better meet their needs

Teslar Software, a provider of automated workflow and portfolio management tools designed to help community financial institutions thrive, announced today that Bank of Idaho selected its platform to improve productivity, freeing lenders to spend more time with their borrowers and improve service to the community.

Bank of Idaho is a business-focused bank that is one of the top SBA lenders in the state of Idaho. The bank first partnered with Teslar Software to leverage its automated workflow and portfolio management tools across its entire lending portfolio.  It selected Teslar’s portfolio management, loan review, construction management and exception tracking solutions.

During the implementation process, Teslar’s technology made an impression, specifically its automation capabilities, so the bank felt it would be beneficial to also leverage Teslar PPP Forgiveness to help its businesses more efficiently navigate the PPP forgiveness process.  Known as “the bank with a heart,” supporting community businesses with PPP loans has been a natural fit for the institution. And, Bank of Idaho hasn’t just helped its current customers; of the 1,200 applications processed, nearly 50% were new relationships.

“Teslar’s automated workflow and portfolio management tools are changing the trajectory of our organization,” said Jeff Newgard, CEO and president of Bank of Idaho. “The streamlined, modern processes are improving our customer experiences and allowing us to build stronger relationships. We’re building a frictionless banking experience that can help businesses in our community get through this difficult time and grow with our support and attention.”

Leveraging Teslar Software’s platform will enable the bank’s lenders to spend less time bogged down with traditional, manual processes and more time engaging with borrowers. They’ll also be able to increase visibility and communication across departments and can better serve customers and cross-sell.

“Bank of Idaho prides itself on taking a consultative approach to customer service,” said Joe Ehrhardt, CEO and founder of Teslar Software. “The bank truly cares about its customers and effectively helping them. Through partnering with us, they’ll be able operate more productively and empower their bankers to focus more on forming meaningful relationships with their customers, which is more important today than ever before.”

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Banking

Turkey’s Akbank Will Use FICO Optimization to Build Value in Credit Card Portfolio

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Turkey’s Akbank Will Use FICO Optimization to Build Value in Credit Card Portfolio 3

Akbank’s teams will also use FICO’s advanced decision optimization capabilities on a range of business problems

Highlights

  • After a competitive search, Akbank chose FICO to optimize its consumer credit card limit decisions for new and existing customers.
  • Akbank also plans to use the same optimization technologies in solving different problems such as setting loan amount and price, and customer credit limits
  • FICO is also working to futureproof the bank’s risk management growth by training in-house Akbank team on the optimization methodologies and action-effect modelling.
  • Akbank’s strategy is to establish an optimization centre of excellence.

Global analytics and decision management provider FICO is providing decision optimization software to manage the growing consumer credit card portfolio for one of the biggest Turkish retail banks, Akbank.

More information: https://www.fico.com/en/products/fico-decision-optimizer

FICO has a global pedigree in credit limit management optimization projects, and many of the world’s leading financial institutions use its optimization technology. Akbank will tap into this depth of experience to create an optimization centre of excellence. Akbank has tasked FICO to train an in-house team so they can build their own applications for other areas,  such as loan amount and pricing optimization, customer-based limit optimization and restructuring optimization.

FICO will configure and develop sophisticated “action-effect” models for Akbank’s retail lending team using FICO® Decision Optimizer to manage their initial credit limit assignment and the on-going limits for Akbank’s consumer credit card portfolio.  The action-effect models project customer responses to offers in order to determine the best offer for each customer.  These will be configured into the optimization framework, allowing the Akbank team to choose an operating point that meets their objectives and constraints.

Serhan Pak, Akbank’s senior vice president, Retail Lending, said: “We view optimization as a strategic tool for Akbank, as we build on excellence in credit analytics to reach our strategic goals. The robustness of FICO’s analytic technology and the fact that their optimization applications are in use worldwide made them a natural choice for us.”

Emre Unlusoy, regional director for Turkey & Balkans at FICO, said: “Akbank is aiming to improve profitability, market share and revenues while decreasing non-performing loans. This is an ideal use of optimization, which brings together analytics, decision logic, mathematical optimization and domain expertise.”

FICO® Decision Optimizer enables business analysts to develop, assess and improve the decisions that drive customer interactions and business results. Users can test decision strategies for the optimal results that balance trade-offs between cost, risk and reward, by factoring in dynamic economic and market conditions.

Akbank’s mission is to be the leading bank that drives Turkey into the future. The bank has grown to over 750 branches and employs more than 12,000 people.

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