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HSBC applies AI to track financial crime

Monday, April 09, 2018


Having racked up billions of dollars in fines for money laundering and sanctions busting, HSBC is cleaning up its act with the global roll out of an AI tool capable of analysing data logs and tracking transactions within a customer's wider network.

The deployment of the technology from big data startup Quantexa follows a pilot of the software with HSBC in 2017 which helped the bank to spot potential money laundering activity.

HSBC had to pay a $1.9bn (£1.4bn) fine in 2012 for helping drug cartels launder money in Mexico and for contravening sanctions to do business with Iran. Alongside the payout, HSBC agreed a five-year deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) under which it promised to take action to correct compliance failings.

The global lender has since spent more than $1bn tightening up its compliance procedures, including participation in a $3.3 million funding round in Quantexa in March 2017.

Ray O’Brien, HSBC’s global risk COO and head of global risk analytics, says: “Following our investment in Quantexa, we are looking forward to working closely with the company to utilise its technologies as we become more intelligence led in our approach to financial crime risk management.”

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