All posts by Editor

U.S. Banks Deploying New Mobile App

Thousands of banks around the world use the Fiserv Mobiliti platform to deliver mobile banking apps to their customers 24/7. The next generation of Mobiliti has several new features, including personalized insights. These insights deliver what banking customers need to know at every step in a mobile interaction, and guide them to more information and the actions they need to take to accomplish their goals.

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Hot Topic for 2014: ‘Independence’ of AML Audits

In the wake of some major anti-money laundering and sanctions actions, the OCC, Fed and NYSDFS are looking more closely at the relationship between financial firms and their ‘independent’ auditors. JohnWalshSightSpan

The OCC and NYSDFS both released guidance on the topic in 2014 and firms should take note.   How serious can it get?  NYSDFS nearly stopped Standard Charter from doing business in its state after misconduct was uncovered with its auditor, Deloitte.  In today’s regulatory environment, with outside pressures from Congress and others, there are likely other agencies looking to make examples of offenders.

So, going forward, what does the OCC, Fed and NYSDFS expect from financial institutions when picking auditors?

First is better documentation detailing the independence of your auditors.  Banks will be required to proactively disclose and document any personal or financial relationship with independent auditors and failure to do so could result in regulatory sanctions.

Secondly, and as always, the audits should be high quality and truthful.  Not all programs will be perfect all the time.  Firms and independent auditors have a responsibility to document blemishes and detail plans to fix any major issues.

We recommend doing an independent audit of AML and compliance programs every 12 to 18 months.  Some firms have a regulatory requirement to do them more frequently, but most can proactively set their own schedule.

Independence is obviously a key area regulators are looking at right now, but don’t lose sight of three other critical components when selecting an auditor:

  1. Confirm the auditor uses standard, global industry best practices and thoroughly documents each step in the process.  Regulators expect documented answers to any questions they may have.
  2. Verify the auditor will provide experts in AML and compliance to work on your project, not that they claim to have them on staff.  Mistakes and misinterpretations of rules won’t work well in this environment of heightened regulatory and legislative pressure.
  3. Make sure your organization has input into the final work product.  It will not do your firm any good if auditor conclusions are inaccurate or their recommendations are not realistic for your firm.

So, while auditor ‘independence’ will be the hot AML topic for regulators in 2014, firms should not forget the other core components when measuring the success of their compliance programs.


About the Author: John Walsh, CEO of SightSpan

An industry leader in financial crime risk management, financial institution and corporate security, anti-money laundering and combating terrorist financing, he founded SightSpan Inc, in 2007, and serves as CEO. He has held several high-level positions in the financial services industry, including leadership roles at Wachovia Bank, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and international trading entities. With more than 25 years of experience in the financial services sector in the US and the Middle East, Europe and Latin America, his expertise and insight into international business management, compliance, security and overall operational risk management distinguish him as a leader in financial crime detection and control.

Personetics Insights: Consumers are Feeling the Pain of Rising ATM Fees

Recently, Personetics looked at consumer behavior as it relates to cash withdrawals, and specifically at how consumers use their bank’s ATM network to access funds.Insight-ATM-234x300

A major part of Personetics’ work is processing the data from millions of banking customers to better understand their behaviors and how they manage their day-to-day finances. They constantly analyze activities, spotting trends and collect customer feedback. Once Personetics see a trend or pattern in our data, they use crowd sourcing to target relevant individuals and ask them specific questions to gain greater insights into their behaviors.

For the full report, go here.

Financial Services Anti-Money Laundering & Compliance Training by SightSpan

Heather Finlay talks about SightSpan’s online training programs, which are an important part of SightSpan’s overall options of specialized training programs for the financial services industry.

SightSpan customizes training programs using classroom, eLearning (via customized web-based applications) and a blend of both methods depending on client needs. SightSpan provides a complete program to clients, allowing for client training program ownership for future usage and internal modifications. Its experts design training classes for Governments and Private Sector Institutions throughout the world, including Southeast Asia, the United States and the Middle East Regions. The programs are offered in multiple languages, providing both an international and local perspective.

Anti Money Laundering/ Combating Terrorist Financing/Compliance Training
SightSpan subject matter experts design AML/CTF, Sanctions and Compliance ACAMS recognized training classes prepare AML Professionals worldwide for CAMS Certification Exams and Advanced AML Training. SightSpan is experienced in training financial firm executives and government officials in international and local Anti-Money Laundering Rules and Regulations, and Investigation Processes using real life cases and examples. The SightSpan AML training team averages 25 years of experience within the AML profession. Its trainers make all the difference, separating SightSpan from all others.

Counter Terrorist and Security Training
Hands-on training is part of the implementation process of any security design, and every risk analysis will have recommendations of key person training to uphold the standard emergency procedures. Proper security training will ensure that prompt action is taken and nothing is left to guess work, making sure everything possible is done to minimize loss and manage risk.

Cultural Awareness Programs
Studies indicate that cross cultural training and relocation services have a major impact on the success or failure of an international assignment or venture. SightSpan provides in person training to individuals and teams being re-located and prepares expatriates to deal with changing employment and social situations, overall cultural awareness and known security issues. SightSpan programs are complete packages including: initial training, follow up/on-going remote training, and on location classes across multiple global regions.

Business Process Improvement Training — Six Sigma and Lean BPI
SightSpan provides affordable Six Sigma Training and Six Sigma Certification for individuals and organizations that are looking to achieve overall Six Sigma business performance improvement success. SightSpan offers Six Sigma Black Belt Training, Six Sigma Green Belt Training and introduction level Yellow Belt Training. Certification options available for Six Sigma Black Belt and Six Sigma Green Belt Training, both simulated project certification and project certification. Lean workshops focus on senior business leaders and address the basics of Lean Six Sigma used as a metric, methodology and management system. The training sessions offer the essential steps for implementing this proven process improvement methodology and link it to the organization’s business strategy. Additional classes are available for front line

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The Top Hiring Employers In Major Metro Areas Right Now

The Top Hiring Employers In Major Metro Areas Right Now – Forbes

The Top Hiring Employers In 25 Major Metro Areas As unemployment levels fitfully decline, plenty of recession-weary businesses remain hesitant to expand their payrolls. However, a new report from the job aggregator offers good news for job seekers everywhere: There are big companies in every major metropolitan area hiring in heaps.

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US CEOs break pay record as top 10 earners take home at least $100m each

US CEOs break pay record as top 10 earners take home at least $100m each – The Guardian

For the first time ever, the 10 highest-paid chief executives in the US received more than $100m in compensation last year, and two took home billion-dollar paychecks, according to a leading annual survey of executive pay. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder, was America’s highest-paid boss in 2012, according to GMI Ratings annual poll of executive compensation, released on Tuesday.

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