Great Data Plus AI-Driven Decisioning: A Winning Formula in Adverse Media Screening

Over the past ten years, the level of regulatory scrutiny of financial services firms’ financial-crimes compliance has expanded significantly, with regulators around the globe taking scores of enforcement actions and levying $36 billion in fines.

Many financial institutions have scrambled to implement effective remediation efforts, and as a result, staffing levels in the area of financial crime investigation and analysis have greatly increased. In fact, 93% of compliance operations leaders are seeking extra capacity to deliver on strategies to manage risk and grow the business, says recent research by Celent and WorkFusion.

One of the core foundational operations in combatting financial crime – adverse media screening (AMS) with alert decisioning – has evolved in line with the need to identify risks to the business. This is true for both banks and companies in non-financial industries, anywhere that screening people and businesses can help minimize risk. The need to screen people and business entities, including supply chain partners, grows each day. Look no further than the proposed sanctioning of China-based banks by the United States.

Recently, Thomson Reuters and WorkFusion compliance experts gathered to discuss the current state of adverse media screening, how it has evolved due to advanced technologies, and how any organization can pragmatically leverage adverse media screening today to reduce risk and grow operational capacity. Taking part in the discussion were Amanda Dupont, Public Records Product Expert and Zac Sheldon, National Financial Industry Specialist at Thomson Reuters as well as Art Mueller, Vice President of Financial Crime at WorkFusion.

Here are some highlights from the conversation.

Understanding the risks of false negatives

Amanda and Art opened the discussion by clarifying how adverse media screening and monitoring works to automate the identification of people and other entities who may pose a risk when doing business with them. Amanda underscored the danger of ‘false negatives’ which arises when a screening solution or person accidentally identifies a real threat as a non-issue. She then explained how a best-in-class data solution like Thomson Reuters Adverse Media and Sanctions can be combined with best-in-class intelligent automation like that from WorkFusion to minimize the risk of false negatives.

Zac provided insight regarding why organizations often lack holistic views into the people and entities they are screening for adverse media. He noted that adverse media content can come from any of 120 million data sources in 120 countries. The key, he says, is opening data barriers and pay walls via technology so that your organization can tap into full international coverage, watch lists, and additional documentation in one customizable search for screening, investigation and ongoing monitoring.

The importance of Thomson Reuters Adverse Media and Sanctions solution in today’s environment

Amanda and Zac highlighted how organizations can catch risks before they happen via the Thomson Reuters Adverse Media and Sanctions solution (backed by WorkFusion) and the benefits of doing so. At a high level, they include:

  1. Gaining the ability to screen tens of thousands of individuals and businesses quickly to accelerate customer onboarding and flag customer/vendor risk
  2. Receiving immediate feedback and updates on new “hits”
  3. Minimizing risk to your organization
  4. Enjoying instant operational capacity gains  

Art said that customers and prospects of Thomson Reuters’ solution appreciate the capacity gains they can realize by using packaged search results from the extensive Thomson Reuters data and having it automatically appear in report format. “It’s a powerful combination,” Art noted.

The power of great data combined with AI-driven intelligence and workflow

Amanda briefly explored the world of possibilities that open up in compliance and risk mitigation when any organization puts great data to work with AI Digital Workers. “It’s onboarding, transaction monitoring, adverse media on counterparties, supply chain, enhanced due diligence in supply chain – for both FinTechs and corporates,” she explained.

The customization of the solution enables any organization to create different rules of engagement based on a variety of factors and the company’s risk types. “Take different populations and create differing rules of engagement, environment, situational, sanctions, etcetera to make decisions based on the way you evaluate risk and screen for it,” Amanda continued. “Ask yourself, what if:

  1. You could perform adverse media screening on any population you define?
  2. Whether what you find in the media is material or not?
  3. And drop it into any system you want, like your case management system?”

Art explained that, with GenAI already built into the adverse media alert adjudication solution from WorkFusion (AI Digital Worker Evelyn), the solution expands capacity in massive ways for compliance operations teams.

The power of adverse media and sanctions screening today

The Thomson Reuters-WorkFusion Adverse Media and Sanctions solution is a “today” solution. Organizations are using it now, and the benefits being realized via modern AMS and AI-based alert adjudication are helping organizations minimize risk and stay compliant in the face of expanding regulations and sanctions.

To understand how your organization can benefit from modern AMS, watch the full webinar here for a deeper dive on Adverse Media and Sanctions Screening, you may download this whitepaper.

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