FCA speaks on technology in combating crime

Megan Butler has spoken at the AML TechSprint event. She focused on how data and technology can help to detect and disrupt criminal activity and how financial institutions staff can help in the fight against financial crime.  She spoke of the insights into criminal behaviour FCA has gained since it introduced the financial crime return. It now has data on the number of internal and external suspicion reports raised, and on what firms view as the key risks.  The most widespread fraud risks firms now face are phishing and identity theft.

She said that all the evidence suggests that firms are working hard to combat financial crime, so the primary question is around efficiency, including how regulators can make firms more comfortable about using technology. FCA sees transaction monitoring as the area with the most potential for automation – but also sees possibilities for its increased use in onboarding, maintenance, client screening and reporting. Firms can increasingly use intelligent technologies to help with spotting suspicious transactions. Of course, there must be balances, such as addressing the risks of bias and transparency when using artificial mechanisms.

She finished by noting that firms should not be afraid to work with regulators to further their use of technology.