Integrate CDD(KYC) & Sanctions Screening for Best Results


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Worried about whether your sanctions/OFAC screening process protects your institution? If you are, you’re in good—if nervous—company.

Financial institutions are under more pressure than ever before to leverage their Customer Due Diligence (Know Your Customer) and screening technologies to identify customers sanctioned by international and OFAC sanctions lists. But old tech and old systems rarely can handle the high stakes and high demands of the international sanctioning activity so prevalent and so powerful today.

The solution: Cutting-edge sanctions screening fully integrated with robust Customer Due Diligence (CDD/KYC).

Think for a moment about the OFAC sanctioning of the Russian oligarchs, who have expanded their financial interests worldwide. You are no doubt screening for them as individuals, but you’re also responsible for screening your other customers for evidence of these sanctioned oligarchs who might be Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs) holding at least 50 percent ownership in these other customers. Your Sanctions Screening tools cannot screen what has not been included in your CDD/KYC data collection.

To be successful in Compliance today, CDD/KYC and Sanctions Screening can no longer be independent processes—OFAC and other screening must be integrated with Customer Due Diligence software solutions.

The best CDD/KYC solutions require the best sanctions-screening tools, and for AML Partners that means SURETY-Sanctions Screening, a screening solution that includes five advanced algorithms and the most robust whitelisting options we could imagine.

Users of integrated SURETY-CDD® and SURETY-Sanctions Screening gain access to five advanced algorithms. Compliance experts know the dangers: misspelled names,  intentional misrepresentation of names, adding special characters to trick a filter, concatenation such as IranRepublicof, or perhaps deconcatenation such as putting a space between each letter of a word.

With SURETY-Sanctions Screening’s configurable algorithms, those problems are solved. SURETY-Sanctions Screening algorithms include SoundEx, Levenshtein Distance, and Jaro-Winkler Algorithms, and our AML experts have further advanced the science of AML/CTF sanctions  screening with the proprietary Wojceschonek-Almeida and Wendell-Reedy Algorithms, further details of which are available to our customers via demonstration.

AML Partners’ CEO Frank Cummings is proud of his team’s advances in sanctions screening, and he said the company’s expertise in the field of risk and AML/CTF has been integral in developing screening software that is precisely tailored to Compliance needs.

“Financial institutions need CDD/KYC solutions and screening software that not only achieve regulatory compliance but that also minimizes the time and resources required for compliance,” Cummings said. “With screening, problems can arise with something as simple as misspelling a name or in the case of South America–where a lot of the drug trafficking occurs–a person will intentionally change the name’s gender–for example, Roberto to Roberta. Using some algorithms, you’ll be buried in false positives, and the perpetrator is hoping you’ll just miss the sanctioned name because it is buried among the false positives.”

Cummings said this type of misrepresentation may overwhelm systems: “You’re talking about 1,200 false positives for a single transaction,” Cummings said. “This type of standard screening can swamp Compliance professionals and cost an institution tremendous amounts of time and money. With SURETY-Sanctions Screening’s collection of advanced algorithms, financial institutions can short-circuit the avalanche of false positives by configuring the algorithms to meet their specific needs and by using our advanced whitelisting feature. With our advanced whitelisting, you can whitelist from the OFAC UID level all the way down to weak a.k.a.’s. This critically important innovation helps an institution dramatically reduce the occurrence of false positives and thereby zero in on the transactions that actually present true risk for AML/CTF.”

SURETY-Sanctions Screening can be used as a stand-alone application or it can operate within the SURETY Suite of AML Compliance products. The SURETY Suite includes SURETY-CDD®, a feature-packed KYC solution; SURETY-Behavioral Monitoring with optional 314a Module; and SURETY-Sanctions Screening.