Commerzbank applies machine learning to trade finance compliance

Commerzbank applies machine learning to trade finance compliance

Commerzbank is to apply machine learning technology from Amsterdam-based Conpend to automate pre-compliance checks for traditionally paper-based trade finance transactions.

The German lender says it plans to automate around 80% of the selected compliance relevant checks of the bank’s trade finance processes by 2020, beginning with a pilot phase for anti-money laundering processes.

Conpend uses optical character recognition (OCR) and progressive machine learning to extract data from physical documents, recognise patterns and flag deviations. The technology uses application programming interfaces (APIs) to connect to Commerzbank’s existing trade finance processing infrastructure, creating a detailed audit trail for regulatory reporting.

Enno-Burghard Weitzel, head of product management trade services at Commerzbank, says: “The processing of trade finance transactions is becoming more complex and prone to higher risks, as manual processes struggle to keep pace with the increasing regulatory and market trends. Our aim is to focus the expertise of our trade finance specialists to the crucial and complex parts of the business, while using artificial intelligence to improve efficiency and further optimise risk controls.”

Conpend cut its first bankinging deal with ING in August last year to automate its compliance and sanction screening processes using the vendor's Trafinas package.

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