"Recent developments, including the introduction of the Patriot Act by the U.S. Treasury Department, have made Asian financial institutions even more concerned about the risk of exposure to illegal money laundering activity," explained Simon Chen, Regional Manager of STB Systems (Asia-Pacific).
"We believe that customers in East Asia will welcome the availability of a purpose-built anti-money laundering solution, backed by our experience in delivering regulatory and compliance solutions to financial institutions in the region," continued Mr. Chen.
According to United Nations estimates, up to US$1 trillion of illegal funds may be laundered through the international financial system annually. In the wake of September 11, anti-money laundering has leapt to the top of the priority list for many senior financial sector executives.
Michael J. Thomas, Managing Director, STB Systems, said: "We're working to meet the immediate needs of financial institutions in East Asia. These institutions now have available to them an anti-money laundering solution that has the flexibility to cater for present and anticipated compliance requirements."
A range of techniques are used to disguise illegal money laundering activity. These include using layers of complex financial transactions to separate funds from criminal activity; camouflaging of illegal activity behind a legitimate business; and the exploitation of differing international legislatures to shuffle funds between jurisdictions at low risk.
However, money laundering is vulnerable to detection at three points: upon entry to the financial system; during internal transfers within the financial system; and during cross-border transfers.
At its core, STB-Detector contains a comprehensive set of updateable rules that describe money laundering activity. Smart software probes data, looking for activity that matches these rules. If suspicious activity is uncovered, an alert is issued to a compliance manager to investigate and reconcile - or contact authorities.
The new solution also helps ensure that financial institutions avoid doing business with criminals in the first place by applying very detailed account opening controls. It extends the anti-money laundering capabilities available to financial institutions by tracking and profiling all account activity - not just wire transfers. STB-Detector is designed to access data resident in existing legacy systems, meaning that financial institutions need not deploy a complex and expensive datawarehouse to achieve regulatory compliance.