'We're losing fight against financial crime'
A more joined-up approach to financial regulation will help combat terrorist financing and human trafficking.
That is the view of Charles Delingpole, CEO and founder of London FinTech firm ComplyAdvantage, which offers automated anti-money laundering tech.
Delingpole said the “ongoing fight against financial crime is being lost due to regulatory divergence more so than any other single issue in the industry”.
“Companies spend billions to understand the risk of doing business with their customers and other third-parties, whilst complying with sanctions and anti-money laundering regulations.
“Legacy software solutions, generally speaking, are too expensive and inflexible to accommodate agile business models and risks."
These differing regulations makes negotiating more than 67 jurisdictions, each with their own sanctions and priority issues, near impossible.
And while the industry has been well aware of the need to unify, it is yet to take these steps, he says.
“Without it, there will continue to be money laundering scandals on the scale of recent European ones such as Nordea, Swedbank, Danske Bank and Deutsche Bank.
“Whilst the world is very focused on the containment of the [coronavirus] pandemic, money laundering facilitates a whole range of other criminal activity.”
Like most businesses across the world, the firm’s growth rate is currently being revaluated amid the pandemic, the entrepreneur said.
Before the Cambridge politics graduate launched ComplyAdvantage in 2014 he founded student community website The Student Room and co-founded business finance FinTech MarketInvoice.
Last year, ComplyAdvantage reported a 300% revenue growth and rapid expansion into the United States. To date it has raised $38.2m. It has over 200 employees globally with offices in London, New York, Singapore and Romania.
“Right now we’re focused on consolidating our work out of the hubs we’re in,” he said.
The firm’s approach is “still heavily focused on investing in our product suite and communicating with our clients to make sure their needs are met”.
Delingpole is now interested in seeing how the disruption caused across industries will result in large-scale change of all descriptions.
“Companies have been forced to deal with the challenge in new ways - working from home, reacting quickly to emergencies, and governments have had to take centralised control of tracking their citizens to avoid contagion,” he said.
“Many of these principles are likely to be more socially acceptable now that they have been adopted initially. Privacy, for instance, has not been a central focus given the massive pressure to contain the virus.”