The value of consolidating the AML process for a top 10 bank

Executive summary 

In a dynamic and evolving financial landscape, staying ahead of risks while maintaining operational efficiency is paramount for banking institutions. This case study delves into the transformational journey of a top 10 domestic bank that harnessed the power of Thomson Reuters® Risk & Fraud Solutions to streamline its processes for adverse media monitoring, alert remediation, and due diligence reviews.

Challenge and opportunity

Facing the challenges of navigating an increasingly complex regulatory environment, the bank recognized the need for a robust solution that could expedite their anti-money laundering process without compromising the quality of due diligence. Their traditional methods were time-intensive, produced a large number of false positive alerts, and were prone to human errors, leading to operational bottlenecks and potential risk oversight.

First, the bank’s monitoring systems would identify something suspicious and escalate the alert, beginning the AML process. The team would then do a quick Google search of the subject to see if any red flags came up on the internet, and they would screenshot the search results and save them to the case file. Next, the team would use another third-party platform that allows them to search subjects to see if they are on a sanctions list. Again, they would screenshot the results and save them to the case file. From there, they would jump to yet another third-party platform to search their subject for adverse findings in public records and complete the process by screenshotting the results and saving them to the case file.

Approach and solutions

The bank integrated Thomson Reuters Risk & Fraud Solutions into thier workflow, leveraging highly advanced technology and comprehensive data coverage to enhance its AML process. The solutions offered a progressive algorithmic approach, combining machine learning and natural-language processing to swiftly identify relevant risk indicators within vast amounts of data.

  1. Adverse media screening: Thomson Reuters Risk & Fraud Solutions offer commercial clients a state-of-the-art way to detect, report, and screen global media and sanctions for financial crime indicators, helping protect organizations from money laundering and reputational risk.
  2. Enhanced due diligence: Thomson Reuters Risk & Fraud Solutions deliver a vast collection of public and proprietary records in a single working environment, providing comprehensive data, detailed analytics, and actionable insights for agencies or organizations.

Before Thomson Reuters, the bank was using three different platforms to perform its adverse media screening and enhanced due diligence. Thomson Reuters Risk & Fraud Solutions contain adverse media screening and enhanced due diligence capabilities all within one platform, eliminating the need to purchase from various providers and saving investigators time by removing the back and forth between different solutions. After the implementation, the previous, clunky, seven-step process that the bank’s AML investigators needed to follow was shortened to just three steps, creating efficiency in their workflow.

Key findings

The results were transformative. Before Thomson Reuters Risk & Fraud solutions, the bank was receiving roughly 14,500 adverse media alerts per month, with 13,775 of those being false positives. Reviewing the high number of alerts was certainly time consuming. With such a high number of false positives, there was an opportunity to improve the effectiveness of the alerting.

After implementing Thomson Reuters Risk & Fraud Solutions, the number of adverse media alerts decreased to just 1,750 per month, with only 1,050 false positives. The outcome was a reduction of roughly 12,725 false positives per month, resulting in 700 fewer hours of alert-review time.

Thomson Reuters Risk & Fraud Solutions also benefited the due diligence review process. Eliminating the need to run searches on multiple programs saved time, and the data quality and relevancy helped identify more false positives and irrelevant investigations. The bank estimated that it saved roughly 434 hours per month.

This expedited AML process not only bolstered risk-detection capabilities but also allowed the bank to allocate resources more efficiently to high-value tasks. The time saved resulted in approximately $500K worth per year.

Beyond the quantitative time savings, the bank realized qualitative improvements as well. The accuracy and comprehensiveness of risk identification were significantly heightened, resulting in a more confident risk posture. The institution was able to promptly respond to potential threats, mitigate vulnerabilities, and demonstrate its commitment to compliance and due diligence.


The integration of Thomson Reuters Risk & Fraud Solutions empowered this top 10 bank to optimize its AML process, resulting in annual savings of approximately 13,600 hours in alert review and case investigation time. This transformation translated to operational efficiency and elevated their risk management capabilities, positioning the bank well in the ever-evolving landscape of financial services.

As the financial industry continues to evolve, the case study suggests that embracing advanced technological solutions will remain a key driver for success. This study underscores the value of technological advancement in the financial sector. It highlights the potential for innovative solutions like Thomson Reuters Risk & Fraud Solutions to reshape conventional processes, drive efficiency gains, and fortify risk management practices. The bank’s experience serves as a reminder that embracing innovative tools in instrumental ways enhances operation efficiency and elevates risk management. 

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