The better the question. The better the answer. The better the world works.

How one firm found a better answer for its investigations

People, processes and technology must unite in anti-money laundering compliance operations — amid tight budgets and a war for talent.

A tourist hiking up a sand dune
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The better the question

Can compliance pressures be a force for positive change?

Investigation processes can be a burden. But speed, efficiency and cost savings are within reach.

Like many financial institutions, a US-based bank and wealth management firm faced multiple challenges arising from its anti-money laundering (AML) compliance operations. Ongoing regulatory pressures were increasing the cost and complexity of monitoring and investigations, and achieving internal quality standards and metrics was a growing concern. Recruiting and retaining talent was difficult, since the city where the compliance program is based is a major hub for these operations and demand for talent is high.

Meanwhile, management had aggressive growth plans, including in the higher-risk Latin American market, where they already had substantial market share. The firm sought to scale its AML compliance resources as its workforce fluctuated and business expanded, while infusing speed, efficiency and cost savings into its investigation processes.

The firm had been engaging EY professionals for several years as advisors in multiple areas of compliance and had great confidence in turning to us once again. Together, we developed and deployed a co-sourcing model that integrated EY analysts and advanced technology with our client’s compliance resources to automate and optimize investigations.

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The better the answer

A transformed investigative experience

The client’s team and our analysts unite easily with AI, automation and other technologies.

We used a proven approach and technology to support the client’s AML transaction monitoring and sanction alert investigations.

Our financial crimes analysts integrated with the client’s own investigative team. We devoted our autonomous “pods” of analysts, quality control specialists and leaders to the client. Resources could be easily scaled up or scaled down based on the client’s transaction volume and available analysts.

Our advanced technology suite was central to transforming our client’s investigative experience. A key tool was Cognitive Investigator, a platform that harnesses advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotic process automation and natural language processing to enhance the entire spectrum of functions required for financial crime investigations. Our platform helps analysts at each stage of key operational processes — from transaction reviews and sampling to research, case disposition and narrative generation.

Cognitive Investigator can also prioritize investigations and weed out false positives. As a result, analysts can concentrate their expertise where it adds maximum value, and manual processing is significantly reduced.

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The better the world works

Lower costs, greater efficiencies and better performance

Leave decisions to the analysts and routines to the machines.

The firm was extremely satisfied with the outcome: an approach tailored to their specific needs, deployed in their private cloud environment, that drove full conformance with IT requirements.

Since teaming with the EY organization 15 months ago, this wealth management firm has been conducting consistently comprehensive, quality AML monitoring and investigations at significantly less cost. Benefits include:

  • Our outcome-based fee structure (contractually guaranteed by the EY organization), coupled with the ability to scale resources and leverage technology, has reduced costs in the client’s operations by 30%.
  • Predictive modeling paired with explainable AI provides analysts with immediate desktop access to actionable insights, including risk factors and mitigators, for each case, which drives confident decision-making.
  • AI and advanced analytics have improved alert quality and lifted the burden of noncore processes so the firm can focus resources on higher-risk activity and customers. Over the course of the engagement, false positives are expected to fall about 30%, fueling consistent and high-quality investigations.
  • The firm now works AML cases 40% faster than before adopting EY Managed Services.
  • With access to our technology and scalable resources, the firm’s management has been able to free up time and capital to focus more on core business strategies.

With EY Managed Services, the firm’s journey to transform for the better has just begun. As the relationship grows, and technology evolves, the latest insights and applications will help continuously enhance quality, reduce costs across financial crime compliance operations and reframe for a brighter future.