Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering trends:

From a regulatory requirement towards an ambition for sustainability.

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Posted on 17/05/2022

The fact that during the last decade, the anti-money laundering scrutiny has continuously gained in importance is knocking on an open door. Initially, this enhanced scrutiny was mostly driven by the regulators’ policies in combination with a concern to avoid reputational risk.

Even though the regulators still play an important role in this domain, one can clearly observe an increasingly ambitious stance towards KYC and AML. It has evolved from a key item many institutions and corporates needed to act upon towards a highly motivated ambition to operate in an environment where it’s not about being ‘legal’ but that not being ‘harmful’ has become of paramount importance.

In a world which struggles to find a balance in terms of sustainability, all stakeholders (shareholders, employees, clients and society at large) are strongly demanding for businesses to act in a sound manner, thus impacting corporate behaviour.

At Harmoney we have seen an evolution from static (need-to) checks and balances, towards a search for continuous monitoring and scrutiny which often goes beyond the strict regulatory requirements, driven by an ambition to fulfill the important societal role companies are expected to play.

This trend has been strengthened by an increased data availability, automation and artificial intelligence which allow for a perpetual monitoring in an efficient manner. As a result, hurdles are coming down and ‘Know Your Customer’ has expanded to ‘Know Your Business, Supplier, Shareholder, Employee’….

From an Environmental, Social and Governance perspective, this is an encouraging trend. The drive for a continuously improving data quality will keep on leading towards more relevant monitoring results going forward. More importantly, the fact that there is a trickle-down effect from the Financial Industry towards a wide array of businesses will help to build a more sustainable global business environment.