The FFE and sponsor, the Regulatory DataCorp (RDC), have just released the FFE’s latest white paper on FinTechs’ use of Adverse Media Screening (AMS) .
In a survey of 39 members, the FFE found that over 75% currently use AMS as part of their compliance framework. Members used AMS throughout the customer life cycle and identified using the tool in support of investigations and SAR filing to be most valuable. Members found it most impactful when applied in a proportionate way, tailored to their specific financial crime risks.
The survey identified some issues, however. Members continue to struggle with the generation of high volumes of false positives generated by AMS, and were looking for more clarity from regulators on when to deploy AMS. Indeed, almost two-thirds of FFE members surveyed supported making the use of AMS a regulatory requirement, partly for clarity, but also to kickstart the RegTech sector into improving the accuracy of AMS solutions. While it is currently not an explicit requirement for regulators in the UK, US, or EU, recent findings from the FCA have suggested that when well-executed, it can mitigate financial crime risks. Further guidance of this kind would clearly help FinTechs.
In the meantime, research and feedback from members suggest that the best approach is likely to be a proportionate one. To gain the most value-add from AMS, FinTechs should therefore employ it on a risk-based approach to gather the information most relevant to their risk profile, while making sure their solutions are regularly reviewed to ensure they operate at the highest level. If used judiciously, bad news can be good news for FinTechs.