In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, banks have seen an increase in compliance alerts attributable to three developing factors.

What are the three factors?

  • Lockdown restrictions have led to reduced in-person banking and an increase in digital transactions, meaning that physical compliance measures such as ID-checking are no longer possible.
  • Government funding and charitable donations have led to an increase in account openings. These customers are likely to be digitally onboarded.
  • And, as Xiangmin Liu, President of the Financial Action Task Force, says: “Criminals are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to carry out financial fraud and exploitation scams, offering fraudulent investment opportunities, and engaging in phishing schemes that prey on virus-related fears.”1

This rise in alerts comes at a time when there are fewer staff to deal with them, and many staff may also be facing the security and technical challenges associated with working remotely.

What can senior bank leaders do to take action and ensure that compliance staff have the tools and support they need?

  1. Get your data in order:
    • A report on the COVID-19 response by global leaders at McKinsey Digital says: ”Chief data officers (CDOs) in every industry will play a critical role in crisis response and the next normal that follows. In today’s high-stakes environment…there’s arguably never been such an imperative for CDOs to provide organizations with timely and accurate data.”
    • But it warns that: “CDOs need to work with their information-security peers to update the controls in place, particularly on their key data assets.”
  2. Consider AI and machine-learning software as an immediate, viable option:
    • Automation and data analysis software is essential in helping many banks reduce the time spent manually trawling through data to review potential issues once alerts are flagged. Agility, efficiency, speed and accuracy are vital, and rules-based programming just can’t keep up if you don’t have the resources to manually update rules.
    • A well-architected, thoughtful AI solution is agile and able to work at speed, scanning and analyzing many petabytes of data. It grows smarter over time and reduces the amount of time that staff need to review false positives.
  3. Continue to use AI to optimize your future process:
    • Investing in AI technology now will also help speed your recovery from what the International Monetary Fund predicts will be the world’s “worst downturn since the Great Depression”, resulting from the impact of the Coronavirus on the global economy.
    • Lastly, investing in AI technology optimizes compliance workload, meaning staff can be re-tasked to work on priorities and initiatives that will help banks and financial institutions recover more quickly

If you would like to learn about Silent Eight can help your business, now and in future, please get in touch at

John O’Neill
SVP of Regional Sales, Western US and Canada


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