Bangkok Bank and SAS Counter Money Laundering Crime with Award-Winning Global Solution

IDC awarded Bangkok Bank “Best in Future of Trust” recognition at its inaugural IDC Future Enterprise Awards 2021

In a major advance of its anti-money laundering (AML) compliance program, Bangkok Bank Limited (BBL) has deployed a solution that integrates and consolidates AML processes across its 300 branches worldwide. Developed together with analytics and AI leader SAS, the AML solution leverages SAS Anti-Money Laundering to establish a global standard of compliance, crossing 14 economies that include eight other Southeast Asian markets, as well as China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“Money-laundering is a serious and growing challenge for the world’s finance system, and financial authorities around the world have put in place stringent requirements for banks to tackle it,” said Suteera Sripaibulya, Senior Executive Vice President of the IT Division at BBL. “It is a global problem, requiring a global solution.”

“The various rules-based anti-money laundering systems we had in place around the world were still adequate for compliance with each local regulator’s requirements on a case-by-case basis, but we recognized the need and opportunity for transformation,” she added.

Advanced analytics tools and bank-wide changes

BBL and SAS collaborated in developing and deploying a single AML solution to replace the bank’s legacy systems with more advanced analytics tools. The project involved auditing each location’s regulatory needs and banking activities and incorporating global best practices and guidelines. The audit yielded the most comprehensive and relevant list of business requirements and helped define minimum AML standards for BBL in its entirety.

The initiative also demanded other bank-wide changes, including new resources and data sources, as well as new ways of working among compliance, business, and IT. The bank instituted a strong data team to ensure the model functions effectively. Further, a skilled technical team operates data ETL (extract, transport, and load) tools to give enough focus for data-mapping exercises. Seamless collaboration between the IT ETL, data and compliance analytics teams proved essential.

These joint efforts culminated in a “SAS AML Global Image,” which was piloted at BBL’s Hong Kong operations and later rolled out globally. The Global Image enables BBL to apply a more advanced, score-based approach to risk-rate its customers. The bank can apply scenarios and risk factors to detect potential suspicious activity against threshold values specific to each segment based on customer type, risk level, and product.

With the global solution implemented, AML risk management and decisioning is strengthened by a standardized AML case investigation workflow across all global operations, helping ensure fully AML-compliant client services worldwide.

Benefits of the AML solution

The SAS AML solution has met the functional, process, and technical-related requirements set by BBL through its analytics-brokered risk mitigation, strengthening the bank’s AML capabilities with more advanced analytics techniques. Integrated AML and customer due diligence case management workflow capabilities have enabled BBL staff to improve their productivity, reducing case resolution times.

“Given its dynamic nature, we recognize that ensuring AML compliance is a continuous process, and we will continue to fine tune and strengthen the bank’s AML operations and capabilities, in close collaboration with SAS," added Sripaibulya.

“SAS Anti-Money Laundering is the third SAS solution deployed at Bangkok Bank, following SAS Customer Intelligence and SAS Fraud Management,” said Andy Zook, Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific at SAS.  “We have helped simplify and consolidate the bank’s AML infrastructure and process, while delivering a complete set of technical tools spanning the full implementation lifecycle – from early development and testing to the deployment through the monitoring and maintenance of the solution.”

In recognition of innovation in global AML compliant operations, IDC named Bangkok Bank “Best in Future of Trust” at its inaugural IDC Future Enterprise Awards 2021 in October. The awards recognize outstanding organizations that have made critical breakthroughs in digital transformation across the Asia Pacific region, spread across seven different categories. Bangkok Bank’s digital transformation project was selected among over 1,000 high-quality entries received from end-user organizations across Asia/Pacific.

To learn more about how financial institutions throughout Asia/Pacific and around the globe are leveraging technology to fight money laundering, download the global AML study by SAS, ACAMS and KPMG, Acceleration Through Adversity: The State of AI and Machine Learning Adoption in Anti-Money Laundering Compliance.

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Editorial contacts:

Cherie Ho
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