Complacency on compliance is a costly mistake for regulated firms, warns AML expert 

by | Jun 14, 2023

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Regulated firms must heed the warning – complacency on compliance is a dangerous path that wastes valuable time and money, according to a leading digital compliance expert. 

The future lies with digital compliance solutions that offer a robust framework to support anti-money laundering (AML). Firms that continue to rely on manual processes are not only putting themselves at risk but also hindering their ability to stay ahead in the fight against increasingly complex financial crimes. 

Martin Cheek, managing director of digital compliance firm SmartSearch warned: “Remaining entrenched in outdated practices is a costly mistake for regulated firms. It is a waste of valuable resources and fails to address the evolving landscape of financial crime. 

“Firms can now become more efficient with ‘triple-bureau’ checks through leading credit reference partners – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. With this comprehensive approach, we have been able to deliver a 97% match-and-pass-rate to the market. 


“With the Government recently renewing its focus on preventing fraud, and given the eye-watering fines and reputational damage which come with money-laundering breaches, investing in AML and digital compliance is becoming more of a cost-saving than a cost for firms.” 

Money laundering is the process of disguising the proceeds of illegal activities as legitimate funds. Criminals often use a variety of tactics to launder money, such as structuring transactions to avoid detection, using shell companies and trusts, and creating false identities. Digital compliance software with access to credit reference partners can help identify and prevent money laundering by monitoring for suspicious activity and flagging any unusual or inconsistent information on credit reports. 

Credit bureaus may detect money laundering if they see multiple applications for credit using the same personal information but with different addresses or employers. They may also flag unusual patterns of credit use, such as large, unexplained cash advances or a sudden influx of new credit accounts. 


Martin Cheek continued: “Triple-bureau efficiency is now the first line of defence for regulated firms. By leveraging cutting-edge technology and sourcing data from leading credit reference agencies, firms can now have an unmatched level of confidence in their compliance processes.” 

Embracing the power of technology and adopting a comprehensive digital compliance solution is not just a necessity; it is an imperative step towards safeguarding business integrity and maintaining trust in an ever-changing regulatory landscape. 

SmartSearch’s dedication to innovation and its commitment to excellence have earned the trust of industry-leading regulated firms. Its digital compliance solution is trusted by more than 6,000 clients and 55,000 users. In addition to more than 2,000 financial services firms and over 1,000 property firms, 


this includes one in two of the UK’s top 100 accountancy firms and one in three of the top 200 legal firms. The company’s triple bureau status and comprehensive AML match and pass rate are backed by rigorous security measures, ensuring data privacy and protection for its customers.

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