- Monitoring, Investigations and SARs
The bedrock of AML compliance is the ability to identify, investigate and report suspicious activity. Simply put – an institution with a strong SAR program will avoid regulatory penalties. An institution with a weak SAR program will not. Dominion has developed and implemented dozens of effective and sustainable monitoring, investigation and SAR programs across the country, each of which have withstood intense audits and regulatory examinations.
The strength of an AML compliance program depends on the effectiveness of an institution’s Financial Investigation Unit. BSA Officer’s and Chief Compliance Officers need to know if the FIU is working effectively – it’s the most important aspect of their job. The complexity of the many moving parts of a FIU increases the opportunity for breakdowns. Dominion’s core specialty is assessing the effectiveness of FIU’s. Our experience in this area in unmatched and the improvements we provide to our clients show it.
For banks ranging in size from $5 billion to nearly $1 trillion, Dominion has built Financial Investigation Units from the ground up. Implementing transaction monitoring systems, designing proprietary monitoring programs, assisting in hiring staff, training, procedure development, SAR filing and department management - Dominion’s team has an unmatched record of success in creating and improving FIUs.
Transaction Monitoring System Optimization
All transaction monitoring software is plagued by the same problem; identifying far too many transactions that have little to no value to an investigator. Problem is, these low value alerts, often hundreds or thousands a month, become a hulking burden on the AML compliance program. Reducing low value alerts and zeroing in on those that are likely to identify suspicious activity is an expertise of Dominion. We have implemented optimization programs that have cut alert workloads in half, saving clients considerable time and money and enabling them to focus their efforts on those things that matter most to maintaining AML compliance.
Backlogs of Alerts and Cases
A new monitoring system, new monitoring scenarios, departures of key staff, new expectations by regulators, are all examples of why some institutions find themselves in a situation where alert or investigation inventories grow and cannot be resolved as quickly as necessary. Dominion frequently steps in to help in these situations. Our team of investigators, quality control specialists and managers are without equal and so is our record of success in this area.
The Dominion investigator training program prepares staff to better detect, analyze and report suspicious activity. This training is the foundation of our SAR program and FIU development. We have trained hundreds of investigators from small, mid-size and some of the country’s largest banks. Our training is designed so that AML directors will see immediate improvement in the quality of investigations and SARs. The training is valuable for experienced investigators as well as those new to AML. Our curriculum focuses on how to spot suspicious activity, the role of regulators in reviewing SARs, and common mistakes and weaknesses that make banks prone to criticism.
We have completed hundreds of complex AML investigations that are sometimes too much for a bank to handle on its own and where the decades of experience of our investigators is invaluable.
Quality Control and FIU Management
Sometimes the work necessary to maintain effective FIU and SAR operations becomes too much. Key staff may leave, special projects may overwhelm management or regulatory pressure to improve might be too much to shoulder. Dominion’s experienced FIU management and quality control team often step in to fill these temporary needs and we do so with a record of unmatched success.