I’m a bank detective!

After completing pre-university education, I started training to become an Intelligence Officer for the Ministry of Defence. Detective work always struck me as an extremely interesting area to work in. Unfortunately, the job I had my eye on disappeared, so I had to look for something else. After a bit of refocusing, I managed to find an alternative. I’m still working in intelligence, only now I do it for the bank.

Know Your Client
I’m a CDD/KYC analyst, which stands for Customer Due Diligence & Know Your Client. That's quite a mouthful, but basically it means knowing who your customers are. The bank needs to know exactly who it’s doing business with. Because if ABN AMRO doesn't know who its customers are and what they’re doing with their money, we’ll get into trouble with DNB. Under the terms of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act (Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financieren van terrorisme), it’s our responsibility to prevent these kinds of illegal practices.

Detailed investigations
We focus on high-risk sectors such as ‘coffee shops’. My job is to understand precisely how individuals are involved with their businesses. I start by conducting detailed desk research.

Contacting the customer
Then, if we can’t get to the bottom of a specific transaction, we’ll contact the customer. It’s vital in such cases that we make it clear we’re not accusing them of anything. As a bank, we’re simply obliged to investigate non-transparent transactions, although I understand it may look as though we’re suspicious. Added to which, people don’t always appreciate having to answer these types of personal questions over the phone. Fortunately, most of our customers understand and accept what we have to do.

Duty of confidentiality
We have access to a lot of information, which is why everyone engaged in this kind of work has to take an oath of confidentiality. We don’t have access to all the information held by the bank, though. Information relating to certain high-profile individuals, for example, is restricted. 

Preventing money-laundering and eating snacks 
I’ve now been doing this job for three months and am hugely enjoying the research, the unravelling of information and the detective work. I also feel I’m making an important contribution to preventing money-laundering and the financing of terrorism. I enjoy working here. Outsiders tend to associate banks with men in suits, and I guess the front office may be a bit like that. But here in our office at Den Bosch, it's more laid back. We’re all open to feedback, and on Fridays after work we go into town for a beer and snacks. Den Bosch has always embraced the good life, after all!

Hidde Tattje - CDD/KYC-Analyst
13 mei 2020