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Lloyds TSB stresses anti-fraud awareness

Financial organisations have been warned that to comply with new, stricter anti-money-laundering legislation, including the...

Financial organisations have been warned that to comply with new, stricter anti-money-laundering legislation, including the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, they will need to focus on staff awareness as well as technology.

Ron Whatford, director of group operations at high-street bank Lloyds TSB, which has just spent six months implementing an automated anti-money-laundering system, said that addressing cultural issues was critical.

The bank had directed some of its anti-fraud focus on staff training and making everyone aware of their responsibilities, he said.

Combating money laundering by organised criminals and terrorists was "a social as well as a business issue", said Whatford.

Everyone, including governments, members of the public and those employed in the financial sector, needed to remain vigilant, he said.

"We're doing our bit," he added. "We take our responsibilities in fighting financial crime very seriously."

Whatford said the bank's automated anti-money-laundering tool, based on Searchspace software running on an IBM computer, would enable the company to write its own rules and trawl its databases for suspicious behaviour that might have been missed by the naked eye.

The system can inspect 20 million items a day and support a broad range of other fraud and opportunity detection functions.

But, Whatford said, the implementation was "just one of a list of things" the company would be doing to combat money laundering.

"This is a significant and important plank in our efforts but it will not fight financial crime on its own," he said.

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