Automation Eases Regulatory Burden

COCC Signs Five Clients to Automate Anti-Money Laundering Efforts

AVON, Conn. February 7, 2006 — COCC, a leading provider of next generation technology services for financial institutions, today announced that five institutions have committed to installing the company’s automated Anti-Money Laundering system. COCC offers the system under its Sentry Services suite of fraud prevention products.

“Increased regulatory pressure is driving many community-based institutions to rethink their approach to fighting money laundering activity,” said COCC’s Strategic Products Director, Linda Stahl. “Automated detection tools plus integration with the transaction processing system and comprehensive displays of potential risks and actions taken are generating exceptionally strong interest in this product.”

Money laundering is estimated to involve more than $1.5 trillion dollars worldwide each year. With money center banks largely protected by sophisticated anti-money laundering (AML) technologies, the illegal activity now flows to smaller financial institutions. “Unfortunately, this creates new concerns and operational challenges for community banks just as other regulatory needs are draining their resources,” said Stahl.

COCC’s Sentry Services and its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) product detects money laundering activity while containing regulatory overhead, according to Stahl. “In the case of AML, this means providing a high quality, outsourced solution that implements the banks’ money laundering policies in a highly cost-effective manner,” she added.

COCC allied with a leading provider of anti-money laundering solutions (STB Systems, Inc.) to automate the complex tasks involved in complying with AML regulations. 175 organizations use STB’s automated compliance solutions world wide.

“This is a top of the line system by any standard,” said Stahl. “We are pleased to have adapted it for core and non-core clients.”

Stahl explained that COCC’s AML solution accumulates a permanent compliance database from multiple transaction sources. As a rules-based solution, the system uses pre-set and client-specific “anomalies” to automatically alert the bank to patterns of exception activity and to identify potential money-laundering suspects. When suspicious activity is discovered, bank personnel can view all the information involved in identifying that activity as well as decisions made and actions taken.

“Our solution automatically generates information for Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) and Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) for review by bank officials,” said Stahl. “The system fully documents the alert, research, decision and filing of the suspicious activity reports.”

Jill Sung, President and CEO of Abacus Federal Savings Bank, said last year’s installation of the COCC anti-money laundering service is critical to her operation. “Any financial institution performing this process manually can’t possibly get the job done,” said Sung. “You need a high-powered technology solution to meet the constant challenge of discovering structured transactions.”

Sung adds that the bank is especially pleased with the system. “We like the system’s flexibility, its ability to automatically generate information for the Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), and to document activities supporting the SARs thereafter,” said Sung. “Nobody knows what the next round of examinations will require, but we believe that our AML system will be able to adapt to additional requirements that come in the future.”

Stahl expects further AML product sales as regulators step up their pressure on community banks and credit unions.

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