Vital4’s team had a wonderful time in Las Vegas at ACAMS 2022! We spent quality time with our partners, had insightful conversations, and met many new friends along the way. As always, we would like to share some highlights from our experience.  

During the show, attendees delved into top-of-mind topics such as the continued expansive sanctions following Russia’s invasion in Ukraine and the importance of financial institutions evolving with tech trends and criminal activity.  

The “Regulatory Roundtable: Oversight Agency Leaders Dissect AML Trends and Issues” panel examined regulatory initiatives, shifting compliance expectations, and the trends affecting FinTech, crypto, NFTs and more non-bank entities. Jay Song, Director of the Office of Compliance, Dept. of the Treasury/Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) highlighted that “criminals have gotten more clever” – and more creative. He explained that the quantity of information available in today’s age is much greater than it used to be, meaning “the volume of data and information [people] have to go through to identify risks are challenging”. Therefore, innovation is so critical in AML and why both governmental bodies and the private sector need to keep up with it. 

Song’s advice directly tied into a separate session on KYC monitoring which we found particularly noteworthy due to Vital4’s ability to offer monitoring for all our AML/KYC data solutions. Many global regulators require continuous monitoring to meet their standards for internal and third-party risk management. Without an ongoing method of monitoring compliance data, your organization can be held responsible for any violations caused by customers, employees, vendors, or other outside partners. Data breaches, money laundering, and other illicit activities can create costly financial consequences, tarnished reputations, and disruptions in business operations. 

The importance of a technology-first approach was also a reoccurring theme of the conference. Multiple sessions were centered around using IT such as AI-driven analytics and machine learning to strengthen AML practices.  

Data Quality and the inefficiencies that bad data can cause in AML and how to remove the noise was a good session presented by Precisely that not only highlighted the problems that come with bad data aka garbage in = garbage out, but reiterated the continuing problem caused by false positives, false negatives, missed matches, list duplicates and challenges with structured vs. unstructured data. They also highlighted real world examples where bad data has cost banks penalties that represented hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars in fines.  

Vital4’s AI-driven data solutions certainly check many of these boxes! 

Finally, ACAMS had several sessions featuring content to help in the fight against human trafficking which is a cause that is important to us here at Vital4. Sessions included; Human Trafficking red flags, where to find them, and how to use them presented by RedCompass Labs, Polaris and our Partners Featurespace. This session took a deep dive into OSINT indicators, using a data driven approach, investigation flow, human trafficking red flags, and how to automate those red flags.

Also, Investigation via digital assets into human trafficking presented by TRM Labs and Circle took a deep dive into pig butchering, romance schemes, the complexity of investigations and how cross-industry collaboration is critical for successful investigations.  

We are already looking forward to ACAMS Hollywood 2023 and we encourage you all to join us so we can continue learning and having meaningful conversations which will help us all be more effective in our fight against financial crime, together. Until next year!