Crime prevention in financial institutions needs a makeover

Financial services need to rethink crime protection and prevention, because the current measures are simply not cutting it, according to PwC.

In the company's new paper, it examines is the industry under scrutiny and to what extent, is it complying with the latest rules and regulations, is it investing heavily in protection and prevention, and what are the results.

Basically, financial institutions have always been, and it seems as they will continue to be, cyber-criminals' most wanted target. They are under intense scrutiny by regulators, and they are investing heavily in both protection and prevention.

As a matter of fact, "the level of investment in compliance is outpacing the wider business world,” the company said in a press release following the paper.

However, the investments aren’t really that effective, as they’ve failed to reduce the number of crime. In fact – the level of economic crime just keeps on growing.

To make things even worse, not only is it growing in volume, but also in cost impact. “46 per cent of those experiencing losses are valuing them at up to $100,000 for every crime (40 per cent in 2014), and almost a quarter (24 per cent) experiencing losses between $100,000 - $1m (23 per cent in 2014),” the report says.

That’s why a new, fresh approach is needed.

"New thinking is needed to make investment in compliance deliver value and to tackle economic crime more effectively. There is a need, across the industry, for new approaches and technologies to more effectively target areas of greatest risk,” says Andrew Clark, a PwC forensics services partner focusing on financial crime.

“Culture has been an area of focus in the wake of the financial crisis and this needs to continue to more firmly embed compliance behaviours into the heart of organisations. Regulators also have a key role to play - keeping rules up to date with developing technologies and encouraging innovative ways to tackle crime."

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