Tunisian banks implement Fico/Vitalis AML technology

Source: Fico

VITALIS, in partnership with FICO, has developed and deployed an advanced anti-money laundering (AML) solution, hosted by SIBTEL in its cloud to be used by banks across Tunisia.

The solution is now in daily use at four large pilot banks. SIBTEL and VITALIS have won the first FICO Decision Management Award for Regulatory Compliance with this solution.

SIBTEL, the “Societé Interbancaire de Telecompensation”, was founded in 1999 by 14 banks, including the Tunisian Central Bank. In order to help the nation’s banks comply with AML regulations, SIBTEL sought a solution that could be installed in the cloud as a managed service.

The solution integrates the Siron® Anti-Financial Crime Solutions Suite from FICO TONBELLER, the Dow Jones Watchlist for screening PEP (politically exposed persons) and the VITALIS solution for managing Swift archives. The solution was implemented with a team of two consultants in just three months.

“Many Tunisian banks have a small compliance team of just one or two people,” said Monder Haouas, CEO of VITALIS. “Outsourcing hosting, configuration and support services is an excellent opportunity that allows member banks to focus on their operational business. We are pleased about the pilot banks − STUSID Bank, Banque Tuniso-Lybienne, Banque de Tunisie et des Emirats and Qatar National Bank − that trusted in our business model and in FICO TONBELLER technology. We will be pleased and honored to continue our efforts to help the young Tunisian democracy face international regulatory requirements and ensure seamless compliance for all financial institutions and the government, especially for Tax Compliance Reporting for the IRS and OECD.”

For member banks, the cloud-based solution has a number of advantages:
• Fast implementation, using a bank’s existing network infrastructure
• Continuity of service provided by a highly available and secure platform
• Lower costs, as the hardware and software is owned and hosted by SIBTEL
• Local support provided by VITALIS
• Quick and easy extension to new banks
• The addition of new modules without technical constraints
• Certification of member banks by the Tunisian central bank's inspection authorities
• Compliance with FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) reporting requirements

The biggest challenge of the project involved mapping and ensuring the quality of data provided by member banks. Thanks to the standard interface that is part of Siron, VITALIS was able to address this problem quickly and meet SIBTEL and members banks’ objectives and deadlines for installation.

“People think about regulation as an inhibitor to innovation, but there are many cases where regulation is the impetus for innovation and adopting hybrid IT environments that include cloud,” said Michael Versace, global research director for digital strategy at the industry analyst firm IDC. “SIBTEL and VITALIS’s achievement involves not just the cloud, but a broader digital strategy that includes other third-platform technologies. These technologies collectively provide greater efficiency and agility in their ability to fight fraud and improve customer engagement. They are addressing regulatory compliance on a country level, which is very impressive.”

“SIBTEL and VITALIS have made a remarkable use of our AML technology,” said Torsten Mayer, vice president of Fair Isaac Germany, who served as CEO of TONBELLER prior to its acquisition by FICO earlier this year. “They have extended the benefits of our solution to an entire nation’s banks, which is a great leap forward in the region’s fight against financial crime.”

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