Citi Global Trade Uses AI to Digitize Compliance in NextGen Project

EY and SAS collaborated to improve risk and compliance processes

***This was originally issued by Citi on April 29 at 9AM ET***

Citi announced today a next generational project, with EY and SAS, using artificial intelligence (AI) to develop an advanced risk analytics scoring engine. The initiative was created to help streamline the time-consuming, highly manual processes associated with reviewing high volumes of global trade transactions while ensuring regulatory compliance.

"By leveraging innovation, we continue our strategic journey to drive digitization throughout our worldwide operations," said John Ahearn, Global Head of Trade for Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS). "We process 9 million transactions annually, and this project will help us optimize our processes from the back office to the front, by expanding the use of digitization, automation and advanced analytics.”

“This real-time solution will help us to be able to more efficiently detect transactions with potential compliance concerns up front,” said Valeria Sica, Global Head of Trade Services for Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solutions. “This solution assists in managing and comparing a large number of data points across current and prior transactions, which will provide more context and usable data to aid the decision maker in reviewing global trade transactions, which has traditionally been a very manual process across the industry.”

Citi’s Global Trade business continues to digitize its platforms and processes to optimize the latest innovation available. As a part of this strategy, Citi digitizes over 25MM trade-related pages annually with optical character recognition (OCR). The initiative will continue this legacy by utilizing Artificial Intelligence technology to automate manual processes.

Combining EY’s deep business, risk, and technology consulting experience in the financial services sector with SAS’ leading advanced analytics platform, Citi will use the new service to further digitize its trade compliance process. This project will help to eliminate time-intensive, manual processes and provide a streamlined view of risk activity and insights.

“Trade compliance is a key focus for global regulators, and this drives increasing expectations about the scope and sophistication of a bank’s controls,” said Jake Jacobson, EY US Managed Services CIO. “Many banks still rely on manual, paper-based processes, driving up operational costs and impacting the customer experience. Innovative technology helps change the game entirely.”

The new platform (powered by SAS) is intended to provide:

  • In-depth analysis of global trade transactions to help align bank resources. The program is scalable to handle the high volume of daily transactions.
  • Advanced analytics and natural language processing to better understand networks of related parties, unstructured data and customer activity over time.
  • Process automation that combines analytic results and trade related bank policies to help focus on trade transactions activities that may need further investigation in accordance with Citi’s escalation process for them.

“Banks face almost overwhelming scale and complexity in the trade-finance sector and in compliance activities,” said Stu Bradley, Vice President of Fraud and Security Intelligence at SAS. “SAS’ sophisticated analytics platform will help Citi drive more effective and efficient monitoring of trade transactions. The resulting performance and enhanced risk insights should lead to a better risk posture, improved response times for monitoring, and reduced operational costs.”

Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solutions division enables its clients' success by providing an integrated suite of innovative and tailored cash management and trade finance services to multinational corporations, financial institutions and public sector organizations across the globe. Based on the foundation of the industry's largest proprietary network with banking licenses in over 90 countries and globally integrated technology platforms, TTS continues to lead the way in offering the industry's most comprehensive range of digitally enabled treasury, trade and liquidity management solutions.

About Citi

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: | Blog: | Facebook: | LinkedIn:

About EY

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About SAS

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