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Fighting Fraud and Protecting Assets with Anti-Money Laundering Solutions

By Marlee Rosen, Associate Editor
May 18, 2009
 

According to a recent FBI report, lawmakers believe that 50% of the estimated billions of dollars that are laundered worldwide each year will pass through American banks.
Banks today are fighting fraud and protecting assets with anti-money laundering solutions to meet compliance regulations and boost defenses against financial crime. For instance, Bermuda Commercial Bank (BCB) is using a solution from EastNets called en.SafeWatch.  EastNets is delivering to banks fast, comprehensive global compliance and payment solutions to help streamline anti-money laundering compliance and perform due diligence research. It instantaneously authenticates identities, assesses financial risk, and examines assets and relationships-all within a single, easy-to-use online resource.  As a result of increased demand for EastNets anti-money laundering applications and SWIFT connectivity Plug-ins not only in the US but also in China and the Asia Pacific regions, EastNets opened offices in Hong Kong earlier this year and is already serving a 100 plus customers. 

“We are very pleased to have opened offices in Hong Kong to better support and service our partner network and our growing customer base,” said Hazem Mulhim, CEO of EastNets. “With an explosive growth for anti-money laundering solutions, there has been a significant increase in demand for our cost effective and rapidly deployable solutions to improve risk protection, control costs and meet regulatory requirements.”

EastNets Anti-Money Laundering Solutions assist in identifying and locating people, obtaining information about businesses and assets, and in learning more about the complex relationships between them. It searches, uncovers, and verifies connections from among billions of records, and delivers actionable results. For example, en.Recovery enables users to restart operations within minutes after an outage instead of hours. Another component, en.Reporting, enables FIN and XML traffic monitoring and reporting. EastNets also offers en.Duplicate Detection that prevents the real time emission of duplicate payments or other FIN messages sent to correspondents. And finally en.SafeWatch Filtering provides real-time blocking and list filtering, supporting all lists including OFAC and PEP.  Additionally, it provides customer and account monitoring and profiling, risk scoring, peer group analysis, case management and regulatory reporting; and offers value-add SWIFT connectivity plug-ins. 
 
For Bermuda Commercial Bank, Eastnets’ en.SafeWatch has been deployed in an application that serves as the central data processing, trend/pattern analysis and suspicious behavior identification engine supporting the Transaction Monitoring initiative at BCB.  Since 2006, Bermuda Commercial Bank has been using EastNets’ Filtering solution for OFAC, PEP and other regulatory lists screening, as well as its SWIFT reporting plug-in (en.Reporting) for FIN message monitoring.  en.SafeWatch Profiling can be easily integrated with any banking application to capture data quickly and cost effectively. Although the system comes with predefined import formats, business rules and reports, it can also be customized to meet unique client specifications.
"When the time came to strengthen our compliance practices we turned to EastNets to deliver an account and transaction monitoring solution that could meet our business needs and better protect our firm against transactional risk," said Horst Finkbeiner, COO, of Bermuda Commercial Bank. "We have been very pleased with EastNets' en.SafeWatch OFAC/Transaction Filtering application and SWIFT Alliance empowerment tools already being used in our bank, and were impressed with their latest offering. The en.SafeWatch Profiling solution can be implemented within a 2-3 month timeframe, and is extremely easy to use, flexible and configurable. The solution's unique approach to scenario building with out-of the-box standard scenarios helps to reduce false positives and allows our compliance staff to be more productive and effective."
 
International regulatory pressures on banks to combat money laundering and terrorist financing have intensified at an unprecedented rate. Bermuda in particular has enacted stringent legislation to combat financial crime.
"Over the past several years, Bermuda has been enhancing its anti-money laundering legislation to meet the recommendations of the FATF and international anti-money laundering standards," said Mulhim. "We are pleased that BCB has selected 'en.SafeWatch Profiling' from EastNets to help their financial institution improve risk protection against money laundering and terrorist financing, and to address these tightened regulatory controls."

Another note of interest is the recent accolades EastNets has been receiving with its en.SafeWatch Filtering solution as being ranked high by Celent, a research and consulting firm focused on the application of information technology in the global financial services industry. Celent advocated EastNets as a leading watch list filtering solution that is currently being used by over 250 customers in 80 countries. Additionally this May, EastNets’ en.SafeWatch Profiling solution was named the 4th top selling anti-money laundering (AML) solution for 2008 by IBS Publishing, which manages several unbiased publications and events throughout the world focusing on the back office banking systems and operations market.
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