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On the front lines with machine learning and AML battles

Joe Mont | January 30, 2018

Late last year, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited, best known as OCBC Bank, became the first bank in Singapore to implement artificial intelligence and machine leaning in its efforts to root out suspicious activities, specifically money laundering and other financial crimes.

To do so, it turned to ThetaRay, a global cyber-security and big data analytics company headquartered in Israel.

In turning to the promise of cutting-edge technologies, the bank confronted where existing AML efforts fell short.

On any one typical workday, an OCBC Bank anti-money laundering compliance analyst would log into the bank’s transaction monitoring system and find up to hundreds of potentially suspicious transactions they had to review. These transactions are flagged for having fulfilled one of several “rules”, such as a sudden large transfer into or out of an account, that the system had been programmed to recognize, the bank says.

This rule-based approach, however...

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