Fraud & Security Report from Frankfurt: Compliance as Competitive Advantage


Yes, it’s true. When it comes to anti-money laundering (AML) and financial crime, the right strategy, people resources and technology can transform the compliance function into a competitive advantage.

That was a big theme at the 13th annual FICO TONBELLER user group meeting I recently spoke at in Frankfurt, Germany. It was my second TONBELLER user group, and I was excited to return. This year, as in 2015, I was intrigued to meet compliance professionals from around the globe, talking about the challenges in their markets.

The downstream impact of financial crime

One of the folks I met is Stefan Segerer of Finanz Informatik, a German company that provides IT solutions to savings banks in Germany. In this FICO video Stefan talks about how Finanz Informatik uses FICO TONBELLER solutions to protect more than 430 banks from financial crimes.

Stefan sums up the impact nicely:

“Money laundering costs the financial industry $10 billion in fines. If the regulators or auditors find misuse, the bank is fined. But this is not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is the damage in [the banks’] reputation afterwards. Their customers or new customers can hear this, and then they won’t do business there.”

Stefan’s assessment captures the essence of using compliance to achieve a competitive advantage. Avoiding large fines and immeasurable lost business through reputation damage is critical for all financial institutions today, and can be a strong competitive differentiator.

You can learn more about FICO TONBELLER solutions for AML, know your customer (KYC), tax compliance, anti-terrorism financing and much more, here.

On the lighter side

Otherwise, some things about Germany always bring a smile to my inner curmudgeon. I’m “that American guy” on the hotel treadmill, clearly confused by his attempts to do a simple KPH to MPH conversion. Except I have a master’s degree in statistics. (For the record, my body was a much better barometer of whether I got the treadmill speed right––not too fast, not too slow––than trusting my mind on the math conversion.)

Another thing I really enjoy about Frankfurt is going to the airport, where employees often tool around, on the job, on their bicycles. I always find that refreshing and cool––and much more dignified than a Razor scooter.

Bike in Frankfurt airport

Employees at the Frankfurt airport often bike around the facility, on the job––just one of many memorable slices of life from my recent trip to Germany for the FICO TONBELLER User Group.

Follow me on Twitter @FraudBird

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