It’s not often that we enter a greenfield market that is just on the cusp of significant growth, but earlier this month FICO announced its entry in the Nepalese financial market.
Nepal is looking to grow its economy and the government recently called for enhanced risk management compliance capabilities to help combat cases of financial crime in the country.
“There is clear evidence that economic and financial crimes are some of the fastest growing offences globally,” said Dr. Chiranjivi Nepal, governor, Nepal Rastra Bank. “In Nepal, we can ill afford for these activities to drain our economy or to destroy business and banking confidence. It is therefore imperative that we match the technologies of sophisticated organized criminal groups, with advanced analytics to help banks closely monitor the vast volume of financial transactions they handle on a day-to-day basis.”
With the perspective of regulatory compliance turning increasingly global, the Nepalese banks acknowledge that it is insufficient to comply only with local regulations. Any banks that are part of the international financial markets, through a remittance business or the clearing and settlement of major foreign currencies are now tightly inter-connected with overseas banks.
From this perspective, regulations from major markets such as USA and Europe, will be indirectly applied to the Nepalese banks via correspondent banks. Therefore, non-compliance could lead to the loss of these banking relationships and access to important capital markets.
Many of the local financial institutions are still completing much of their compliance processes manually, so the ability to automate with the FICO® TONBELLER® Siron®Anti-Financial Crime Solutions was something of great interest to the Nepalese market.
Our capabilities were demonstrated to the banking community at an AML and Compliance-themed symposium held on February 2 in Kathmandu. Our local partner, ELAM organized the event and it was attended by almost 200 senior people, including CEOs, CIOs, heads of compliance, other dignitaries and media. During the symposium, Nepal Rastra Bank highlighted the urgent need for automation by banks and financial institutions.
FICO’s vice president for compliance solutions, Torsten Mayer, stressed the importance of having the right mindset when it comes to compliance as well as a complete solution that can comply with both local and overseas regulations.
“While we now do business in more than 90 countries, each is unique,” said Torsten Mayer. “Nepal’s local regulations and business environment will see us localize our solution to ensure it is just as effective in Nepal as it is globally. For example, local lists of politically exposed persons will soon be added to enrich the data. Coupled with the latest analytics, this will deliver a winning approach to lenders and government.”
In all, the entry of our robust Siron solution, coupled with the local understanding provided by ELAM, has generated considerable excitement among the local Nepali financial community, and we have gained the support of the Nepali Banker’s Association who are excited to have FICO support their compliance efforts.