From tourism to financial crime

I guess you could say that I made quite the turnabout in my career. Just 18 months ago, I worked in the tourism industry. Now I’m investigating suspicions of financial crime with the Client Filtering team of one of the largest banks in the Netherlands. Not a bad career move, I’d say!

Client Filtering (CF) is a separate team within Detecting Financial Crime, just like Know Your Customer (KYC) and Transaction Monitoring (TM) are. That sounds more complex than it actually is. KYC focuses on the client’s overall profile. TM monitors unusual transactions. And we, at CF, perform adverse media checks, i.e. we look at whether clients are getting bad press about their financial dealings.

Adverse media
We use a special computer system to monitor the news. If one of our clients gets bad press, i.e. adverse media, we set to work. I check whether the person in the news item is actually our client. After all, the name Sally Jones (fictitious) is not particularly unique. We also look extra closely at Political Exposed Persons because people entrusted with prominent public functions are generally more susceptible to corruption. And we screen people and countries that are on sanctions lists.

Determining relevance
I search the internet by consulting public data sources and I use internal sources of information. That’s how I try to establish whether the person in the news is one and the same as our client. We always seek two different types of confirmation, e.g. a photo and a matching date of birth. I also decide on the relevance of filing a report. Is there a financial component to the matter? Is what happened harmful to the bank? These are the questions we’re expected to find answers to.

Focus on financial crime
The system screens for such red flags as fraud, terrorism, drugs and international sanctions. Our team is squarely focused on financial crime. We obviously want to do all we can to prevent ABN AMRO accounts from being used unlawfully. If we find out that clients commit financial crimes, we may decide to let them go. 

Colleagues from different backgrounds
My job is very different from my previous one, which I left 18 months ago. My degree is in tourism and I worked as a travel agent. But I had ambitions that I couldn’t achieve in that role and I needed room to develop. Then I saw an ad for this job. I was afraid I didn’t have the proper background, but that was never an issue. I work with people from all kinds of different backgrounds, from psychology to marketing. As long as you have a degree and the right mindset, you’ll find your feet!

Willyanne Hulst – CDD Analyst
18 mei 2020