A new tool for streamlining and automating financial crimes investigations gives financial institutions a centralized view of suspicious customer behavior, Fortent announced today with the launch of its Fortent Investigate product.
Fortent Investigate represents an important step forward in "case management," the process that takes a financial crime case from the initial alert to the reporting of the suspicious transaction to law enforcement and regulators. Fortent's is the only case management system on the market today built with a "compliance logic"; i.e., it was created by Fortent's anti-money laundering (AML) and fraud experts expressly to manage alerts, investigations, and reporting for financial institutions' compliance processes. While Investigate can also be used to manage a wide variety of "case worthy" events at banks, such as an operating loss, its particular compliance focus is a departure from more generic case tools on the market.
Fortent Investigate addresses an increased concern of both regulators and the banks themselves that banks have a standardized, enterprise-wide system to analyze, conduct, and report their financial crime cases, vs. the traditional single-channel approach. Providing a centralized view of suspicious behavior, Investigate lets managers and investigators see what is happening in different business lines.
For example, the system can detect when a customer who has committed fraud in one area of a bank tries to go through another channel at the bank to conduct business. The rise in cross-channel fraud - which accounted for approximately 40% of all deposit account fraud in 2007, according to the American Bankers Association - has prompted banks to seek safeguards to prevent fraudsters from moving across banking channels to commit crimes.
Financial firms are also trying to rein in the growing costs associated with investigating fraud and money laundering alerts.
"Banks are looking for ways to lower their compliance costs as they grapple with market volatility and budget pressures," says Sandy Jaffee, CEO and Chairman of Fortent. "One way to achieve this is to standardize the investigation process and eliminate redundancy between different lines of business."
Key components of the Fortent Investigate technology have been in place for over 10 years. Northern Trust bank, a long-time Fortent client, says that Fortent technology has helped it respond rapidly to organizational change.
"Fortent's workflow has significantly improved the effectiveness of our AML alert management process," says John D. Larson, SVP/AML Monitoring and Investigations at Northern Trust. "One of the things we have been able to do is create and automate a 90-day alert review process to measure the nature of the SARs we file to better meet regulatory expectations."
"We've been adding workflow features to our existing monitoring product, and continue to look for innovative ways to utilize the tremendous flexibility of Fortent's case management solution," Mr. Larson adds.