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Sanctions screening – what’s in a name?

The use of financial sanctions is continuing to rise rapidly across the globe.

Keeping up to date with banned countries, evolving sanctions regulations and complying with the frequently updated lists and AML procedures has become more and more complex for banks. In fact, in the past two years, fines from the five largest cases involving breaches of anti-money laundering (AML) and customer due diligence (CDD) totalled more than $3 billion USD.

Beyond the monetary fines, sanctioned institutions were exposed to serious reputational and other collateral damages. In one case, an institution lost more than 20% of its market capitalisation within a week1.

However, some bank representatives have been heard to say that the cost and time spent in addressing these issues is still not worth the size of the fees incurred. But does it have to be this way? Why do financial institutions see sanctions screening as so complex, and how can these issues be addressed?

In this article, Amanda Gilmour explores the increasing challenges that banks face when screening sanctions, including:

  • Matching dirty data to dirty data
  • List issues
  • Language and script permutations
  • Challenges around cultural differences
  • False positive alerts

Understand these issues further and learn how these can be addressed with the right approach

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