Investigations Management – Without Breaking the Bank

Recently, NICE Actimize commissioned its second consecutive global survey of financial services executives to learn more about risk management trends and practices on a global basis. One of the questions we asked respondents was about their top drivers for optimizing investigation processes and systems. The results might surprise you.

At large financial institutions (with at least $60B in assets), the top two drivers for optimizing investigations were risk mitigation and reputational damage protection; tied for third were the financial implications of crimes and fines, and transparency & regulatory scrutiny. The fact that risk mitigation is in first place is not shocking, and signals the serious emerging threats that our industry is facing.

Even at smaller financial institutions, the results were similar – the top two drivers were risk mitigation and transparency & regulatory scrutiny, and the third driver was financial implications of crimes and fines (although reputational damage protection was a close fourth place contender, less than 1 percentage point behind 3rd place.

No matter the size of the institution, all of them are concerned with risk mitigation and how it affects the operations of their institutions.

With the top four priorities so closely ranked (see chart below), organizations are looking for new efficiencies to help them achieve all of these goals without – excuse my pun – breaking the bank. We all know that compliance costs are increasing, and compliance’s remit continues to grow throughout the organization, creating overlaps between Risk and Compliance, HR, Legal, and other operational departments. With this being the trend, I wouldn’t be surprised to see additional investments in investigation technology – specifically those that ​unify systems (for a single view of risk and increased transparency), streamline investigations (to quickly mitigate risk and cut down on losses), and optimize processes. Combining these three approaches helps ensure teams can protect their customers (and their brand equity) while also hitting the other two drivers as well – increasing consistency and cutting costs.​

While there are many operational tradeoffs from a cost and technology perspective, there are clearly new ways that organizations can create efficiencies that both benefit their risk management strategies while protecting their customers.

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