From Alert Fatigue to Optimized Operations: The Case for Next-Gen Enterprise Risk Case Management

Justin McLean, General Manager, Case Management & Platform, NICE Actimize
From Alert Fatigue to Optimized Operations: The Case for Next-Gen Enterprise Risk Case Management

Financial institutions (FIs) often struggle with low-impact case management processes that severely impede financial crime and compliance operations in a dynamic, high-velocity threat environment. 

Increasing alert volumes, disjointed data ecosystems and operational systems, shifting regulatory obligations, constantly changing business demands, and labor shortages further exacerbate operational challenges and cost pressures. The result is inefficient, disparate, redundant efforts that prevent financial crime analysts and investigators from leveraging a holistic view of risk that supports quicker, more accurate decisions. 

An advanced financial crime and compliance enterprise risk case management solution is instrumental to proactively responding to potential anomalies and threats and taking decisive action to prevent criminal activities. Additionally, it ensures adherence to regulatory standards, a crucial factor in maintaining your institution’s reputation and customer trust.

This blog covers key operational challenges and explores strategies that drive operational excellence, strengthen compliance practices, and mitigate risk.

Financial Crime & Compliance Teams Struggle Amidst Operational Hurdles

There are some glaring roadblocks that hinder today’s financial crime and compliance teams, drastically chipping away at productivity and efficiency: 

Effectiveness: Making Informed Decisions

The effectiveness of financial crime investigations hinges on the ability to make well-informed decisions. Analysts responsible for these investigations heavily influence a range of outcomes, from customer relationships and regulatory compliance to their firm’s reputation. Decisions like blocking transactions, terminating customer relationships, filing suspicious activity reports (SARs), and recommending employee disciplinary actions carry significant consequences. 

Analysts need access to comprehensive, unified, and relevant data to make these decisions accurately based on trusted, analytics-driven insights. They also need tools that make it easy to present and consume information in a compelling visual narrative and facilitate collaboration with peers. 

Efficiency: Balancing Quality and Cost Pressures

Efficiency is another urgent challenge for financial crime executives. Cost pressures are ever-present, further amplified by a scarcity of skilled labor in financial crime areas and stiff competition for specialized talent. Financial crimes investigations demand meticulous research, data analysis, and nuanced understanding of regulations and risks to make complex decisions. 

To strike a balance between achieving operational efficiency and meeting service-level agreements (SLAs) while sustaining a high standard of quality, analysts need the tools and capabilities that eliminate bottlenecks and optimize resources. 

Transparency: Defining Standards and Documenting Decisions

Ensuring transparency demands that decision-making processes are easy to explain, including standards and actions taken. This depends on maintaining and enforcing standardized criteria for decision-making and methods for documentation while also retaining the appropriate level of evidence to satisfy auditors and regulators. 

But reconciling openness, standardized processes and meticulous documentation is a major obstacle. Financial crime and compliance units frequently deploy inconsistent approaches to managing investigations, dispositioning alerts, reporting metrics, and filing regulatory reports and lack a common view of risk. To build traceability and systemize procedures, financial crime and compliance teams need workflow automation and oversight to support a robust reporting framework.

How to Choose the Right Financial Crime Case Management Solution

Advanced enterprise risk case management systems feature a diverse range of tools and capabilities that can accelerate the throughput of financial crime and compliance operations. The right solution will materially improve effectiveness, speed time-to-value, increase efficiency, and reduce the cost of continuous maintenance. 

Choosing an case management solution often involves trade-offs, soit’s important to prioritize objectives when making an investment. Many products are designed to solve a narrow problem, such as AML transaction monitoring, fraud detection, or sanctions screening, but cannot be adapted to connect risk or build consistent processes across these domains. Other alternatives such as general purpose business process management software are offer the flexibility to cover a wide spectrum of applications, but require high implementation costs due to the lack of basic building blocks required by every financial crime program. 

Here are five key questions to ask when evaluating a financial crime case management solution: 

  • Does it deliver a holistic view of risk? To unify financial crime operations through various regions and risk domains, you need the means to standardize across different use cases. A platform should be able to support information sharing across organizational units and offer robust protection for sensitive data.
  • Does it have the capacity to grow, adapt, and incorporate new functionalities over time? Extensibility is critical to meeting unique needs without building an entire system from the ground up. The right system should be agile and adaptable to accommodate constantly evolving business environments that result from new ventures, technology changes, mergers and acquisitions, and other events.
  • Does it specifically address the intended purpose? A purpose-built solution is designed to meet regulatory requirements, efficiently connect with and manage financial crime data, and centralize the UX around financial crime management. Ideally, the solution should be developed by industry-focused product engineering and services teams that deeply understand the industry and product problem space.
  • Does it address investigator pain points? Financial crime investigations involve numerous, complex steps, and a solution should accelerate each one via automated data collection that is available either out-of-the-box or through integration with partners, APIs, or robotics. Ideally, the transition between each step should also be streamlined through data-driven workflow processes.
  • Does it deliver a comprehensive view of risk? People interpret visual information 60,000x faster than textual information, so a solution should feature an immersive interface and visual analytics to help transform an abundance of data into a readily consumed story. Entity resolution and network risk analytics can also help deliver a 360° view of risk.

Preparing for Future Areas of Investment

The financial crime, regulatory, and business landscapes aren’t static, which means a case management system should be built to accommodate current and future needs as conditions evolve. This distills down to the ability to support future areas of investment: 

  • Don’t overlook standardization, which minimizes expensive infrastructure, data, and software support redundancies and leaves more room in your budget for innovation so you can stay ahead.
  • Don’t rely on a single supplier for everything. An agile, open system enables you to exploit innovation from a wider financial crime and compliance ecosystem.
  • Don’t hesitate to reach out to experts and cultivate relationships with industry specialists to help you keep up with the latest trends and maintain a mindset of constant evolution. 

It takes everyone working together to fight financial crime. At NICE Actimize, we’ve championed this mindset by building an ecosystem of more than eighty  financial crime and compliance partners and creating integrations that extend the value of our product suite. We actively engage our client community, stay ahead of industry trends, and explore the limits of technology to ensure our solutions maximize your ability to fight financial crime. 

ActOne, our purpose-built, next-generation enterprise risk management solution, powers faster, more accurate investigations and optimizes operational efficiency. It unifies risk, financial crime and compliance processes for a holistic approach to identifying, investigating, and mitigating financial crimes. 

ActOne also equips investigators with the intelligence they need to make swift, trusted decisions by eliminating the complexity of collecting and accessing data. Risk-calibrated workflows standardize processes for better transparency and consistent outcomes, enabling compliance teams to dedicate their efforts towards high-risk cases. 

Check out this ABA and NICE Actimize podcast to learn more about how to operate at the speed of risk, or if you have questions, please contact us.


Speak to an Expert