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Keeping up with KYC


Customer Due Diligence has traditionally been focused on client onboarding, but how much effort is being put into keeping this information up to date? Do institutions know their customers six months down the line? Are they the customers they initially appeared to be?

Constant screening of customers is a gargantuan task. Even with automation, the burden on resources due to false positives could be enormous. Combine this with discrepancies in customer and list matching data, different languages and character sets and it’s fair to say that cross-referencing is difficult at best.

So what’s the solution?  Pool resources and set up a KYC utility. PwC claims that this could save institution’s $3.3m per year. The need for a utility is one that has been discussed at length and it’s becoming clear that the appetite is there. In fact SWIFT recently announced that it is setting up such an entity in 2014 to initially deal with correspondent banking data, with plans to widen its scope to cover other areas.

Swift aren’t the only ones. JWG points out that at least 10 other utilities are in the pipeline. DTCC, Markit and Dun and Bradstreet have already thrown their hats into the ring.

It’s early days since each of these utilities is a point solution catering for specific regulations. There’s still a need for one, consolidated utility. For this to happen, institutions, utilities and regulators must work together. The kinks will need to be hammered out around sharing data across borders but one thing is certain – the time has come for a central utility and uniting efforts will make due diligence more efficient and less expensive.

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