Mashreqbank to monitor suspicious transactions

Mashreqbank is deploying anti-money laundering systems across its branches in the UAE and overseas. The bank is implementing SAS Institute’s anti-money laundering (AML) solution which alerts bank staff to suspicious customer activities.

  • E-Mail
By  Diana Milne Published  February 26, 2006

Mashreqbank is deploying anti-money laundering systems across its branches in the UAE and overseas. The bank is implementing SAS Institute’s anti-money laundering (AML) solution which alerts bank staff to suspicious customer activities. Mashreqbank purchased the SAS solution to comply with the Central Bank of the UAE’s anti- money laundering regulations, which require it to carefully monitor customer behaviour and inform the central bank of any suspicious transactions. The SAS AML solution is a risk-based monitoring and alert system, which detects patterns in customer activities that could indicate suspicious dealings. It is able to sift through customer transaction data then automatically identify and classify suspicious activities. It produces suspicious activity reports, which can be sent to the Central Bank and alerts bank staff to situations which need to be investigated. Prior to the SAS solution being implemented Mashreqbank was using an in-house solution. “Once each day is over we load the system with data from the previous day, the system processes the information, then alerts are generated based on information,” said Sedina Selimbegovic, project manager, business intelligence systems, Mindscape — the IT arm of Mashreqbank, which implemented the solution. “Once the alerts have been created they are routed to certain groups. For instance if the customer banks with the retail department then that information is routed to the retail department,” she continued. “It is a fully automated solution which also has the ability to link any documentation or scanned documents or e-mails to any of the investigating officers,” she added. The solution has been deployed within the commercial and retail departments of the bank in the UAE — a process which took six months — and will be extended to cover the bank’s overseas branches by the end of this month. Basel Tutunji, regional manager of the SAS Institute Middle East claimed it was “impossible” for banks to fully monitor suspicious customer activity without the aid of an automated anti-money laundering system. “It’s impossible manually, if you have a bank with say one million accounts which is dealing with 200,000 transactions a day, you would not be able to keep track of all of them. The money launderers are always ahead of the banks — that is happening worldwide,” he said. He described how the system uses artificial intelligence and follows a set of 52 ‘rules’. “The system is able to learn from previous behaviour and therefore detect abnormal behaviour. For instance, if every month a customer deposits their salary of 4000 AED then suddenly they deposit 40,000 AED for three months running,” he explained. “That raises an alert that this account has a suspicious transaction,” he went on to reveal.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code