KYC-AML to Get an AI Boost


Artificial intelligence may be the darling for the front office, but the technology likely will have a significant footprint in financial firm’s ‘know your customer’ and anti-money laundering operations, research recently published by industry analysis firm Celent.

The reports authors, Arin Ray, analyst, global financial services, securities & investments, and Neil Katkov, senior vice president, Asian financial services, global financial services, securities & investments, estimate an increase in AI-enabled compliance systems in the next 18 to 24 months.

Neil Katkov, Celent

Neil Katkov, Celent

“Bank’s approach to KYC-AML traditionally has been reactive rather than pro-active, always looking to address imminent issues, which has resulted in short-term fixed like adoption multiple systems and hiring more resources,” wrote the authors. “

As a result, banks have invested in various point solutions for functions like link analysis, watchlist filtering, and communications surveillance.

From a personnel perspective, top tier banks can spend approximately $1 billion annual on their KYC-AML operations and employ teams of up to 1,000 people. The bottom 75% of banks spend about $200 million annually and employ 150 people for the same functions. In comparison, the bottom 50% of banks spend and employ half the amount of resources as the bottom 75% of banks.

Citing an industry survey by NextAngels, a sponsor of the report, the authors noted that 40% of the polled financial institutions, half of which had 1,000 regulatory compliance-focused staff, still felt that they were not appropriately staffed.

Ray and Katkov concluded that the largest banks likely will be the earliest adopters of the new technology.

“The value proposition for AI solutions is highest for large banks with significant volumes, complexity, multiple lines of businesses, and geographical reach as these banks are affected most by the current challenges and stand to benefit the most by adopting new and innovative solutions,” they wrote. “The large banks are also technologically more sophisticated and play a leading role in technology adoption. We are likely to see many tier 1 global and large regional banks adopting these solutions in the next three years.”


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