The UK authorities are acutely aware of the burden being placed on the companies. Andrew Bailey, the new head of the Financial Conduct Authority, said last week that “one of the problems which you hear about frequently is, there is a vast volume of paper reporting”. While supercomputers might one day have the capacity to accurately detect warning signs, the current system is spewing out a “vast body of information and evidence … how do you easily distil it?”
The NCA is in line for an IT upgrade under a Home Office review next year. The investment would be welcomed: even simple tasks like attaching documents to suspicious activity reports are currently impossible.
Meanwhile, the three-year-old organisation is working with the compliance-weary banks to pick up new criminal trends.
The weekly meetings of the Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce (JMLIT) are a world away from the apparent glamour of Robert Musella’s life.