West Bromwich building society has installed STB Systems software to improve security against money laundering and meet Financial Services Authority regulations.
The company has installed STB-Detector across its 50 branches to provide an automated check for suspicious activity or transactions in customers’ accounts.
It had previously relied on manual scrutiny of crude data extracts – for example, of recent transactions of over £10,000 – in order to counter money laundering, but moved to an automated approach after similar sized businesses were fined for failure to comply with the FSA’s “know your customer” rules, West Bromwich Building Society information security manager Rob Hine explained.
STB-Detector compares transactions with a history of individual account activities and uses this to highlight unusual movements on accounts. Hine said: “The benefit of STB-Detector is it can look back at the behaviour of a customer. It does show the behaviour change. We have put four years of customer transactions into the system so it’s got enough data.”
The automated system produced a manageable number of alerts where the old system involved checking thousands of transactions that met basic selection criteria.
“The rules within the STB system are user configurable and we could improve how we manage referrals to the National Criminal Intelligence Service. We could load into the system our historic database of referrals, a Microsoft Access database with 100Mb of data, and have an improved case management and audit trail,” Hine said.
User configuration allows the building society to define the sort of behaviour the system will highlight, whether that is transactions over £50,000, cash transactions or transactions that are five times higher than usual for that customer, he added.
“We have also got the system linked to our intranet, improving the process of staff making manual referrals,” said Hine.