If you work in financial services, you care a great deal about red flags and identifying them. Like it or not, but you are in the business of identifying and reporting suspicious behaviour – it comes with the job!
But they can be notoriously hard to pin down and most of us tend to be confused about what a red flag is and what to do once we’ve identified one - we see this all the time when training financial services staff. Here are three things that you probably did not know about reporting suspicious behaviour:
1. Once you’ve seen suspicious behaviour, you have to report it to your manager.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a customer not giving you enough information when opening an account, or a suspicious transaction, or anything else that is out of the ordinary – you have to stop what you’re doing and report it!
2. You don’t have to be right to report suspicious behaviour!
You just need to report it. Remember that you are just one part of the larger investigative picture. At the point where you have identified suspicious behaviour, it is your duty to report your suspicions to your manager. You can then rest assured that the further evaluation of the situation will be done from that point onwards by the manager and the Money Laundering Reporting officer (MLRO).
Just like with the famous anti-terrorist ad campaign on British public transport, you only need to think in terms of ‘See it, Say it, Sorted.’
3. The client does not need to be inconvenienced in all this – in fact, they shouldn’t know!
You’re passionate about delivering top-quality results for your clients, so a lingering thought might be why should I inconvenience good clients the moment I see something suspicious? Do we all really have to go to all this trouble of reporting, analysing, investigating…for something that might not be that big a deal in the end anyway?
But this is a misunderstanding of AML requirements to report suspicious behaviour. The reporting of this suspicious behaviour stays behind the scenes, and in fact the client should not know about any investigation into their activity.
Operations continue as before, but with the difference that you have done your bit and alerted the right authorities to anything that might smell fishy!
What are your experiences? Let us know in the Comments below!