Majority of companies plan to upgrade their anti-money laundering technology – Despite budget cuts!

–  98% have plans to change anti-money laundering processes in 2024

–  38% had anti-money laundering (AML) budgets cut in 2024 in comparison to 2023, with New Zealand impacted more than Australia

–  Australian companies more likely to think c-suite should be held responsible for non-compliance than in New Zealand

SYDNEY, April 30, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Over half (53%) of c-suite executives in Australia and New Zealand only feel somewhat confident about their company’s anti-money laundering (AML) processes. That’s according to a survey by First AML, the anti-money laundering scaleup.

The survey found that the financial consequences of non-compliance on their organisation is a concern for 78% in Australia and 64% in New Zealand. In fact, 30% of those surveyed in Australia are extremely concerned, compared to only 18% in New Zealand.

Reputational risks

When asked whether a strong commitment to compliance impacts the company or firm’s reputation in the market, 84% in Australia feel it brings a positive impact, but only 42% in New Zealand feel the same. Similarly, 34% in Australia feel it brings a significant positive impact, versus just 16% of c-suite executives in New Zealand.

On top of this, Australian executives are more likely to think the c-suite should be held responsible for non-compliance (82%) compared to just 56% in New Zealand.

Milan Cooper, co-founder and CEO of First AML, commented: “Australia is going through a transformative period, and these survey findings should be a call to arms for a Tranche 2 decision. New Zealand is deeper into its journey, but that doesn’t mean the c-suite should rest on its laurels when it comes to anti-money laundering processes.”

2024 budget changes

The survey also found that 38% had anti-money laundering budgets cut in 2024 in comparison to 2023, yet 95% of c-suite executives are worried about their company’s ability to be compliant with new and upcoming anti-money laundering regulations.

The main reasons for this concern include limited resources (46%), limited budgets (30%), and limited staff knowledge (41%).

Bringing AML to the boardroom

The majority of c-suite executives discuss anti-money laundering strategies, risks, and processes discussed during board or senior level meetings quarterly (43%). In New Zealand, 36% discuss it bi-annually or less frequently, compared to just 28% in Australia.

On top of this, the majority (43%) receive reports, or have meetings, with their ALMCO or compliance officers about compliance quarterly, with 44% in New Zealand and 32% in Australia receiving them bi-annually or less frequently.

Almost all (98%) have plans to change anti-money laundering processes in 2024. Sixty percent of Australian respondents are planning to invest in technology, compared to just 30% in New Zealand. Collectively, both Australia and New Zealand are also planning more investment in people (41%) and more investment in training (35%).

“While the Australian market is further behind other countries and regions for implementing anti-money laundering processes, it is able to learn from the missteps made by others,” Cooper continued. “With access to both cutting-edge technology and hindsight, Australia can get it right first time. Investment in tech – in addition to people and training – will be crucial for this success.”

About First AML

First AML is an all-in-one AML platform. It powers thousands of compliance experts around the globe to reduce the time and cost burden of complex and international entity KYC. Our enterprise-wide, long term approach to the CDD data lifecycle addresses time and cost challenges while improving the customer experience and minimising reputational and security risks.



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