Resolving Regulatory Challenges

Resolving Regulatory Challenges
19/07/2021 MHC

How Intelligent Automation can alleviate the challenges of an ever-evolving Financial Crime regulatory landscape

  • $20 Billion is spent by European banks every year to fight financial crime.
  • 90% of European banks have been fined for AML-related offences in the past decade.
  • Globally, banks have been fined approximately $26 billion over the last 10 years.

In this series, we explore some of the challenges faced with financial crime regulation, and how technology can be applied to help meet evolving regulatory requirements whilst maintaining the agility required to pivot your existing processes into new requirements in future.

MHC are financial crime experts who work with some of the largest financial institutions in the UK. We work exclusively in the financial services sector, and apply our industry expertise to your existing process baseline to make tactical recommendations to introduce measurable, incremental improvements to your organisation.

In partnership with Reply, we are able to leverage their intelligent automation expertise to introduce process mining, digital process monitoring, and robotic process automation for our customers.

In this article, we look at how technology can assist with remaining compliant against evolving financial crime regulations, and what some practical first steps are for exploring the capabilities of the technology.

Implementing Business Process Agility

When looking to optimise or modify existing systems, our customers are more often than not met with technical limitations whereby regulations require new system features that were not envisaged at the time of implementation.

The fall-back position to adhere to these demands is to augment existing processes and systems with manual, repetitive tasks that are performed by valuable human resources in order to ensure ongoing regulatory compliance.

This introduces new challenges around human error and lack of control, and often further diverges your business process away from the core technology underpinning your systems.

We work with Reply to implement Robotic Process Automation (RPA) which combined with artificial intelligence, can transform your existing processing into an agile system of processes that can readily accommodate new regulatory changes.

One key feature of RPA is that the underlying systems themselves do not require modification. RPA is aligned to matching what a human would traditionally do on a computer, albeit with the ability to scale, work 24 hours per day, and strictly adhere to a defined process.

This is achieved by leveraging our financial services expertise to precisely map your existing processes against the exact regulatory requirements that you are responsible for complying with.

Your core systems are mapped against these processes to identify the boundary or touch points where humans are typically responsible for moving information from one part of a process to another.

This human interface mapping typically identifies the following points at where end to end automation would typically defer to a human:

  • An inbound email
  • Spreadsheet extract
  • Physical form completed and scanned
  • Manual searching of background information within a credit agency web portal

RPA works by mimicking user interaction on a screen and can therefore interface with any system, web page, spreadsheet or even paper work on behalf of a specified business process. RPA is not a system in itself, but rather a technology designed to augment gaps between existing systems.

This approach enables automation to sit as a layer on top of existing business systems, and supplement these with tactical points of automation that enable an end-to-end process to function without human intervention.

This orchestration can allow for reactive data processing, or even proactively login to a credit agency portal to extract relevant information for an application for example, and present this to a human for review at the right time – saving the overhead of searching for this information manually.

RPA is not focused on replacing people, rather ensuring that your human workforce can focus on the exceptions or more difficult tasks once they are freed up from repetitive processes that are required in order to adhere to regulations.

The consistent adherence to process introduced by RPA can also play a key role in analytics by feeding process data automatically into existing data repositories to facilitate deeper compliance to key requirements.

For example, one challenge with transaction monitoring is the ability to identify trends and relationships between individuals. When segments of a business process are not automated, this introduces risk gaps where key data may not always be available when reviewing all possible relationships between transactions. RPA can help bridge this information gap by augmenting system data with well structured “manual” data that can then help specialised artificial intelligence solutions more readily identify a suspicious transaction.

Through analysis of your existing business processes, MHC can map any human elements against automation capabilities to provide candidates for automation based on process value, risk for non-compliance, and cost for fulfilment.

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Should you wish to discuss how MHC can support your organisation in understanding how to fully leverage intelligent automation, please contact us at