Bank of America, SAS to Battle Money Laundering

Bank to implement SAS' anti-money laundering software for detection, prevention


Bank to implement SAS' anti-money laundering software for detection, prevention

Cary, NC — October 27, 2003 — The International Monetary Fund estimates that between $800 billion and $2 trillion is laundered each year worldwide. New regulations such as the USA PATRIOT Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) require financial services institutions to take concrete steps to stem this tide.

With the potential for multi-million-dollar fines, criminal investigations, and irreparable damage to corporate reputations, leading banks are stepping up to address this issue by boosting their anti-money laundering and terrorist financing efforts.

Bank of America, currently the third-largest bank in the United States by assets and the nation's largest consumer bank, has selected SAS, the leader in business intelligence, to power its anti-money laundering program.

Bank of America, a SAS customer for 25 years, said it would use SAS to address requirements of the USA PATRIOT Act, passed by Congress after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The Act requires financial institutions with accounts in the United States to establish "due diligence" policies and procedures to prevent, detect and report possible instances of money laundering or terrorist financing.

Bank of America served as an early development partner for SAS Anti-Money Laundering and is currently implementing the solution to detect and report criminal financial activities efficiently across the entire organization.

SAS said the solution provides Bank of America with a transaction surveillance and analysis process, coupled with the ability to refine detection measures and logic to more accurately report exceptions throughout the enterprise.

Bank of America said it then uses predictive models from SAS to understand and examine potentially suspicious patterns or anomalies in financial transactions. The ability to monitor unusual or suspect behavior is essential for its anti-money laundering effort, according to Bank of America.

SAS said its solution is to be implemented across the entire enterprise, allowing Bank of America to obtain a comprehensive view of financial transactions over its many lines of business.

"The strategy in partnering with SAS was to develop a fully integrated alert monitoring, workflow and case management solution for use in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism," said Dan Soto, the bank's global anti-money laundering executive.

Bank of America is also using SAS' Anti-Money Laundering Solution for its broker monitoring and customer suitability needs. In addition to analyzing suspect behavior to detect and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, the bank will monitor and analyze broker behavior, reporting risky situations, to help protect customer and company interests.

In related news, Bank of America Corp. today announced that it would buy FleetBoston Financial Corp. for nearly $47 billion in stock, expanding its reach into New England and creating the second-largest U.S. bank.

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