Legacy tech will become barrier to fighting financial crime - survey

Legacy tech will become barrier to fighting financial crime - survey

More than 90% of senior financial crime professionals working in the UK banking industry are worried that their firms' legacy technology will become a barrier to fighting crooks over the next couple of years.

Of 168 financial crime and AML compliance professionals quizzed by LexisNexis Risk Solutions, 44% say evolving criminal methodologies are the biggest single emerging risk they face.

In the midst of Brexit, geo-political change is seen as the biggest single future financial crime risk by 37% of respondents in the retail banking arena and 34% of investment bankers. Half of those questioned agree that Brexit will have both positive and negative impacts on the ability of UK financial institutions to fight financial crime. 30% believe Brexit will have a positive impact, 14% say it will have a negative impact, while the rest remained unsure.

Whatever the threats, respondents are lacking confidence in their technology's ability to combat them: 92% have concerns that their organisation’s legacy technology will become a barrier to fighting financial crime over the next one to two years. In addition, 87% cite disparate technology systems that don’t interoperate or process data properly as a significant challenge, whilst 87% also say their business isn’t able to enhance their technology fast enough to counter evolving criminal methods.

This problem is compounded by evolving regulatory environments, with increased regulations requiring investment in new technologies; 60% of respondents cite this as a root cause of cost increases.

Dean Curtis, UK MD, LexisNexis, says: "For those tasked with combatting financial crime it can feel as if they are fighting twenty first century criminals with twentieth century tools. Our report shows financial crime professionals do not believe the industry is doing enough to leverage the advantages of technology to fight financial crime.

"Whilst the FCA is assisting the acceleration and adoption of technology to fight financial crime through its regulatory Sandbox, more needs to be done. Practitioners must adopt a more strategic view of technology to enhance operational effectiveness as regulation has rapidly evolved in the last 15 years and simply increasing staff numbers is not a sustainable approach."

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