79% of financial services professionals utilise search engines to evaluate financial crime and regulatory risk, according to research by LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

The research also uncovered that many financial professionals are not using all the tools at their disposal when it comes to KYC. Only 44% use adverse media, and just 50% look at ultimate beneficial owner data.

“These findings highlight a worrying dependency upon search engines to determine the financial crime and regulatory risk of customers, who could pose a real threat to financial institutions,” said Michael Harris, director of financial crime and regulatory compliance at LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

The company outlines a number of dangers employees expose themselves to while using search engines:

  • Traditional search engines only cover the surface web, which represents a small portion of the World Wide Web
  • Search engines do not retain audit trails which are needed for evidencing due diligence
  • Search effectiveness relies on the user knowing the right search terms
  • Individuals exercising their ‘right to be forgotten’ limit what traditional search engines can index on the web

“Commercial search engines, for all their worth, are not designed with compliance in mind,” continued Harris. “Combing through pages and pages of results is not only time consuming, but also leaves organisations open to a greater degree of human error.

“To effectively tackle the threat of financial crime, it’s critical that financial services professionals have access to technologies that deliver the intelligence required in a format that allows for confident risk-based decisions to be made, quickly and effectively.”

by Alex Hamilton
Alex is Senior Reporter at IBS Intelligence, follow him on Twitter or contact him at: alexanderh@ibsintelligence.com