Screening customers for potential sanctions, AML/CFT and PEP problems is about to become a lot easier and more cost effective.
There are several content providers out there offering subscription based tools that help financial institutions and other reporting entities to comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations. Parts of such regulations require entities to screen customers for possible sanctions, political positions or links (PEPs) terrorist sanction lists (CFT) among other sources. Some content providers claim to offer superior data using proprietary databases and data collection methods. In practice, all the important sources are available publicly from government and intergovernmental organisations such as UN, EU, OFAC, CIA and HM Treasury just to mention a few. However, to search through all these sources separately would be very time consuming and thus very costly, even if the data itself is available for free.
Data outside of the aforementioned public and official sources typically consist of adverse media, or more informally, ‘online gossip’. This could be possible name matches from newspaper articles, online forums, social media and the like. Contrary to widespread belief, most big banks do not use adverse media screening when on-boarding new clients, but rather focus on official government sources for AML, CFT and PEP screening. The main problem with adverse media is that it returns too many false positives. For entities that indeed wish to go deeper and investigate any possible match with adverse media content, Google typically provides free access to the same information that one will find through the subscription services. A major difference is that subscription services can often cost close to $10K per user per year without providing access to any special non-public data sources.
With this in mind, a new screening service provider was born, KYC-Screen. KYC-Screen consolidates all official AML/CFT/PEP data sources in to one central search tool and API for integration with external platforms, all at very reasonable fees and with no intention to become a new Google. This service is currently being built and further information will be posted here soon.
KYC Screen operates as a division of Captela Ltd.