We are seeing a rise in the globalization and liberalization of financial services across the world today. With this development comes a rise in financial crime. Anti-Money Laundering (AML) technology is becoming an essential tool in the overall strategy to fight financial crime. This is particularly prevalent in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region, where economies are developing rapidly. Cybercrime, especially crime related to terrorism, has forced governments to focus on financial transaction processes in order to ensure the safety and legitimacy of the financial services industry.
Globally, cooperation with national regulators has been at the forefront of the industry. In several instances, the leading jurisdictions have been implementing new regulations that originate from this global cooperation. The regulatory standards have given uniformity of approach, which is desirable from a technological point of view, thus allowing for easier interaction and collaboration in the development and implementation of AML systems.
Several participants in this study have also commented on the increasing sophistication of AML requirements in large economies such as China and India, which are trying to ensure that they have the right frameworks in place with regard to financial crime and specifically AML amidst rapid economic growth and rise in security threats including cybercrime. Systems also are moving to be more 'holistic' in order to allow firms to deal with all these areas of concern through one platform, as much as possible.
Several countries are putting their own regulations in place in line with the global Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidelines. The Asian members of the FATF include Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC). While countries such as the US have played a leading role in dealing with money laundering in the past, having a body such as FATF is a very efficient way of dealing with the issue, allowing jurisdictions to learn from each other while putting in place measures that are coordinated, synchronized, and streamlined. This takes into account the fact that most money laundering occurs across national boundaries, and often targets the jurisdictions that have the weakest AML laws.
This report looks at the AML systems being employed in the Asia-Pacific region. It begins with an overview of the important recent trends in the industry, the lessons to be learnt from recent AML related events worldwide, a comparison of the leading AML solutions across certain parameters, and the change drivers for the AML industry across Asia. This is followed by a discussion of the leading product offerings in the AML space and a comparison of their features and important functionality.