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The Shifting Sands of Financial Risk: Balancing Perception and Reality

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In financial services, risk perception is often as significant as the risk itself. A recent report(1) in  The Business Times of Singapore reveals growing concerns among Singaporean financial institutions about money laundering risks. This comes in the wake of a major scandal in August 2023, where ten individuals were arrested for a money-laundering scheme involving over S$2.28 billion, elevating fears about fraud and money laundering.

Perception easily becomes reality

The Business Times article reveals that in October 2023, money laundering and terrorism funding risks climbed to fourth place on Singaporean financial institutions’ risk radar, up from seventh in April. In light of the earlier scandal, perhaps this is not surprising.

But the ten people arrested each held multiple passports and perpetuated many frauds including online scams and in the world of gambling. Money laundering is rarely localized and often functions at a worldwide level.  This global concern calls for solutions that span international borders.

Complex problems require sophisticated solutions – delivered simply

The challenge for financial institutions is to implement agile, cost-effective anti-money laundering (AML) measures. A key obstacle is the ‘silo’ effect – the reluctance to share crucial data between organizations due to confidentiality concerns. Overcoming these silos is essential for effective risk management.

Continual transaction monitoring is vital in this scenario. It’s insufficient to conduct periodic checks; constant vigilance is required to identify and tackle suspicious activities promptly. This approach significantly mitigates the risk of financial wrongdoing.

An holistic approach for a global challenge

The Compli suite of services from Essiell Compli addresses these challenges comprehensively. It offers solutions for AML, counter-terrorism funding (CTF), and the monitoring of politically exposed persons. Compli stands out for its ability to facilitate data sharing between collaborating organizations, effectively dismantling data silos.

Compli is more than a tool; it’s a strategic asset that equips financial institutions to adeptly handle both perceived and actual financial risks. Its efficiency and cost-effectiveness align with the latest regulatory standards, making it a valuable ally in the fight against financial crimes.

Risks evolve – so should measures to keep them in check

As the landscape of financial risk evolves, so must the strategies to manage it. Perceptions of risk are just as critical as the reality. Financial institutions need to be proactive and innovative. Services like Compli from Essiell Compli don’t just offer protection; they provide a framework for excellence in a domain where managing risk is about balancing perception with reality.


(1) Money laundering now a greater risk, say Singapore financial institutions , The Business Times, Singapore, 27th November 2023.

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