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How a unified platform approach can help Building Societies better meet financial crime and compliance investigation needs

Author: Liam Bulloch
Date: March 2023

As technology and software platforms are utilised more and more across the financial sector, criminals have done what they always do: raised their game, now deploying technology to help cover their tracks with ever more sophisticated tactics while, at the same time, using it to exploit system vulnerabilities for their own fraudulent ends. Recent ONS Crime data showed a 36% increase in reported fraud offences and a 161% increase in unauthorised access to personal information (including hacking) offences.

Building Societies face threats from a number of different frauds:

Within mortgages, take fraud for purchase. This is where a mortgage applicant doctors their application forms to obtain a higher loan than they are entitled to, leading to losses later on when they are unable to pay. This is a consistent problem across banks and building societies that isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

Or maybe fraud for profit. This is where organised syndicates involving corrupt professionals in the house buying chain obtain loans on false pretences, which are again never repaid. This leads to not only financial losses but reputational damage and greater resource across the organisation.

In addition, the complexity, and range, of fraud and compliance reporting mean Building Societies need to be experts in investigating AML, Reporting, CTF controls such as Customer Due Diligence and Enhanced Due Diligence, Data Cleansing and Remediation. The larger the organisation, the greater chance that these needs are spread over multiple teams such as Financial Crime, Fraud and Governance. Quickly, the business may find itself with gaps in knowledge, multiple software systems and processes, a lack of coordination between those teams and inconsistencies; giving fraudsters opportunities to wreak havoc.

The result is that Building Societies are left in an increasingly difficult situation. They have a moral and legal obligation to meet compliance requirements and investigate financial crime; however, with that increasing complexity, they are seeing costs and time needed for an investigation escalate when done manually, and customer service impacted as decisions on high risk customers take longer.

What can be done?

A centralised, or unified, approach is key from both the perspective of carrying out an individual investigation, and from the perspective of meeting different customer investigation needs. In the first case, that means using a platform that includes the appropriate depth and breadth of data needed for a complex investigation, including having workflow technology that can automate data aggregation over those multiple disparate data sources, optimising the efficiency of the investigation process. In the latter case, having a single platform that is suitably flexible to be able to handle any kind of investigation – from CDD to EDD, and fraud and remediation – and is capable of seamlessly, across the organisation or departments, moving a customer through each step necessary to complete a building society’s compliance or financial crime investigations needs.  In other words, provides a one-stop source for all your organisation’s investigation requirements.

About Synalogik

Synalogik deliver innovative solutions that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of compliance and fraud investigations through innovative software and unparalleled access to consumer and business data. Our flagship product is our data aggregation and automation platform Scout® which is unique in its capability to aggregate data from Synalogik, open, closed, third party and proprietary sources, allowing investigators and analysts to automate complex enhanced due diligence and fraud investigations. In addition to our third-party integrations, Synalogik offer a comprehensive package of our own data, including loan application and lists of disposable emails and telephone numbers; organisations benefit from greater insight, speed of deployment, and the ability to meet compliance needs and protect themselves from fraudulent actors more cost-effectively.

In 2022, we secured a Series A investment from Bill Currie and former Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy and, among other awards, the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Our current customers include Hasting Direct, The Insolvency Service, Entain, Betway, Buzz Bingo, AIG and Marble Arch Insurance.

Liam Bulloch
Liam is a highly experienced sales professional with experience across financial services, construction, shipping and data. He is also an NCTJ qualified journalist, DJ/music producer and promoter having played alongside Ben Klock, Felix Da Housecat, and Danny Howells in the last 10 years.