Using Risk Assessment Pro to help a small Bank improve their risk-based approach
JAK Medlemsbank, a small Swedish member’s bank with a targeted product offering took the decision in 2020 to embark on a program to improve and enhance their financial crime processes and procedures. Being a local bank, they had limited time and resources available to spend on their AML compliance. JAK engaged Acuminor and now utilize their Risk Assessment Pro and ThreatView products, to provide them with the knowledge and processes to better understand and assess the financial crime threats they face. This has enabled a true risk-based approach to AML compliance. A complete financial crime intelligence solution to support a small bank.
The Story of JAK Medlemsbank
JAK is a member’s bank founded in 1965 with the aim of developing a savings and loans business without a profit goal and to provide products that meet its members financial needs.
Regulatory changes and tighter supervision in the last decade led to challenges for JAK to maintain an efficient compliance organization. In June 2020 following regulatory action from Finansinspektion, the Swedish FSA, JAK took the decision to engage in a financial crime change program to resolve the issues.
Starting before the public announcement, several changes were made in JAK’s management team, as well as organizational changes, to strengthen its work to prevent the bank from being used for financial crimes.
As a small bank, JAK realized the need to partner with experts to leverage their knowledge and systems rather than trying to build and host it all in-house. Understanding the financial crime threats and risks JAK faced as a bank was the foundation for building their revamped risk-based approach to AML.
The challenge of having a risk-based approach to financial crime before Risk Assessment Professional
Since the 4th EU AML Directive came in to force financial institutions have been asked to take a risk-based approach to their AML compliance. The foundation of this approach is having a complete understanding of the threats and associated risks that you are facing to ensure your mitigating actions are relevant and appropriate.
As a small bank in Sweden, JAK had challenges in gathering the knowledge to understand the specific threats that they faced. JAK had AML and KYC processes and procedures in place and were actively working to ensure that the bank was not used for financial crimes. However, following the regulatory issues in 2019, JAK’s management and its operation in that they needed to find a fundamentally new way of handling their risk-based approach to AML. Relying on in-house resources were not enough in today’s increasingly challenging financial crime environment with new threats and associated risks constantly evolving.
Why JAK Medlemsbank Chose Risk Assessment Professional & ThreatView
Together with the changes in management at JAK in 2019/20 and the decision from Finansinspektionen, new staff, such as experienced experts, were brought in at key positions to help restructure and develop the operations and supporting IT systems within AML. JAK’s new Head of Financial Crime Prevention had previous experience with Acuminor and understood the positive impact it would have on JAK’s AML program. JAK invited Acuminor to propose a solution that would help them to understand how they could leverage the collected knowledge and process support that Acuminor’s products offer. The complete package of information and product support together with JAK’s new organization created a holistic solution that JAK’s management could feel comfortable with. Acuminor’s unrivaled financial crime intelligence data was a decisive factor in the selection of using its products.
The savings in time and resources by using Risk Assessment Professional will continue to grow for JAK as the foundational work that they have done in the system will allow them, in the future, to focus on the delta changes, in their risk assessment and associated workstreams. They can do this because as the threat landscape evolves, Acuminor will continually update its threat intelligence database and make it always available to JAK.
JAK also understood that the risk assessment needs to be based on a broad set of sources to properly understand the threats and risks it faces and that limited knowledge is no longer sustainable, given supervisory authorities expect more from banks today. The collection and handling of information that Acuminor manages, from more than 500 sources and over 100 000 pages of unstructured data, supports a more robust risk assessment process allowing JAK to be aware of, and thus implement controls for, their mitigating actions.
ThreatView supports JAK in multiple processes that the risk-based approach in the 4th AML Directive mandates. Information that can be pulled from ThreatView, or analysis that can be conducted in it contributes to writing policies, staff training, scenarios for the KYC process, and the customer risk scoring process, as well as for creating transaction monitoring scenarios.
Acuminor were also able to quickly understand JAK’s business and through the Platform Launch Program (PLP) train JAK staff in becoming expert users of the product and thereby self-sufficient going forward. Acuminor have been very responsive to product development suggestions and are constantly striving to deliver a better and more useful solution.
Using manual, static processes, to conduct risk assessments is becoming an increasingly unviable option. So too is blaming ignorance of the threats and associated risks that an organization is exposed to, but was publicly available, at the time of the latest risk assessment. Time has also passed on the rigid structure of doing risk assessments once a year whereby an organization does not incorporate updated information on customer segments or products that becomes available in-between the current static risk assessment intervals.
Let Acuminor help you fight financial crime with data intelligence and system support that lets you move away from static Excel sheets and bring you online to use our collective information database and configurable risk engine that is today trusted and used by banks, gambling companies and supervisory authorities in Europe.
Read more about us and sign up for a free trial period of ThreatView, or get in touch with one of our sales and partnership representatives at firstname.lastname@example.org for a personal demo of our product Risk Assessment Pro.
For more information about JAK Medlemsbank, visit their website.
The methods used by criminals is constantly evolving and each organisation faces different risks as a result. With help of expertise and powerful technology, Acuminor’s risk analysis platform provides unique insights into threats and risks from money laundering, terrorist financing and sanction violations. This enables you to know your risks and reduce them before it’s too late.