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Banks in Greater China Battling Toward Comprehensive AML Architecture

Wolters Kluwer Financial Services and MILSTE Survey Identifies Banks’ Greatest Anti-Money Laundering Concerns across China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

Wolters Kluwer Financial Services and MILSTE today released a joint anti-money laundering survey of banking executives in Greater China. The survey revealed banks across the region face pressing issues amidst increasing regulatory pressures, such as keeping up with evolving internal and external regulations, managing costs, maintaining advanced analytical software to identify suspicious transactions, challenges with KYC processes and heightened scrutiny from regulators.

The survey of AML, legal and compliance decision makers in leading banks across China, Hong Kong and Taiwan evaluated the current regulatory environment and captured industry perceptions of evolving regulations. Wolters Kluwer Financial Services and MILSTE also assessed decision-making processes within AML and compliance departments, explored opportunities and threats banks are seeing and identified key issues for banks related to fraud detection, regulatory expectations and the usage of technology.

Specific insights by country include:

  • More than half of those interviewed concurred that banks operating in Mainland China need to strengthen KYC processes, boost training in AML and establish effective automated systems to continually monitor compliance.
  • In Taiwan, eighty percent of bankers interviewed highlighted a lack of automated transaction monitoring systems and controls, particularly within smaller banks, weak management of documentation in KYC processes and a need to move forward as the Financial Supervisory Commission is now starting to ramp up the regulatory requirements to bring Taiwan up to international standards.
  • Nearly forty-five percent of those interviewed in Hong Kong stated that the influx of high net worth individuals from the mainland increased the need to monitor transactions closely and that the regulator was becoming ever more demanding, with a particular focus currently being on improving KYC systems and procedures.`

“Through our survey we discovered banks across the region share the need to improve KYC processes, implement reporting systems and improve internal control systems and administrative rules,” said Michael Thomas, director, North Asia with Wolters Kluwer Financial Services. “There is a deep need for expertise in developing a strong AML architecture, and our discussions with banks in the region reveal recognition that this can’t be accomplished without a trusted partner.”

The survey was conducted through interviews from late January 2015 through early March 2015.

You can download a copy of the full whitepaper, Greater China Anti-Money Laundering Banking Insights, or obtain a printed copy by visiting Wolters Kluwer Financial Service’s booth, number 300, at ACAMS 7th Annual AML & Financial Crime Asia Pacific Conference in Hong Kong from April 27-28, 2015.

About Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Wolters Kluwer Financial Services provides customers worldwide with risk management, compliance, finance and audit solutions that help them successfully navigate regulatory complexity, optimize risk and financial performance, and manage data to support critical decisions. With more than 30 offices in 20 countries, our prominent  brands include:  AppOne®, AuthenticWeb™, Bankers Systems®,  Capital Changes, CASH Suite™, GainsKeeper®, NILS®, OneSumX®, TeamMate®, Uniform Forms™, VMP® Mortgage Solutions and Wiz®. Wolters Kluwer Financial Services is part of  Wolters Kluwer, which had 2014 annual revenues of €3.7 billion ($4.9 billion), employs 19,000 employees worldwide, and maintains operations in over 40 countries across Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Wolters Kluwer is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands. Its shares are quoted on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices.

About MILSTE

MILSTE is a leading provider of intelligence for the banking industry in the Asia Pacific Region. The firm produces data-supported reports about wealth management, private banking, competition, and especially technologies within banks. MILSTE also creates insightful yearly publications that capture the main trends occurring in the region, and organizes executive training for banking executives across the Middle East and Asia Pacific.