Citi has announced that it is working with professional services multinational EY and SAS to develop an artificial intelligence (AI)-based risk analytics scoring engine to provide data that assists decision makers in reviewing trade transactions.
The NextGen project was created by the trio to help streamline the time-consuming, highly manual processes associated with reviewing high volumes of global trade transactions while ensuring regulatory compliance.
“By leveraging innovation, we continue our strategic journey to drive digitisation throughout our worldwide operations,” said John Ahearn, global head of trade for Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS). “We process nine million transactions annually, and the NextGen project will help us optimize our processes from the back office to the front, by expanding the use of digitisation, automation and advanced analytics.”
“This real-time solution will help us to be able to more efficiently detect transactions with potential compliance concerns up front,” added Valeria Sica, global head of trade services for Citi’s TTS.
“This solution assists in managing and comparing a large number of data points across current and prior transactions, which will provide more context and usable data to aid the decision maker in reviewing global trade transactions, which has traditionally been a very manual process across the industry.”
Focus on compliance
Citi reports that the Global Trade business continues to digitise its platforms and processes using the latest innovation. As a part of this strategy, Citi digitises millions of trade-related pages annually with optical character recognition (OCR). NextGen will continue this legacy by utilising AI technology to automate manual processes.
“Combining EY’s deep business, risk, and technology consulting experience in the financial services sector with SAS’ leading advanced analytics platform, Citi will use the new service to further digitise its trade compliance process,” the group announced. “This project will help to eliminate time-intensive, manual processes and provide a streamlined view of risk activity and insights.”
“Trade compliance is a key focus for global regulators, and this drives increasing expectations about the scope and sophistication of a bank’s controls,” said Jake Jacobson, EY US managed services chief information officer (CIO). “Many banks still rely on manual, paper-based processes, driving up operational costs and impacting the customer experience. Innovative technology helps change the game entirely.”
NextGen platform features
The new NextGen platform, powered by SAS, aims to provide:
- In-depth analysis of global trade transactions to help align bank resources. The program is scalable to handle the high volume of daily transactions.
- Advanced analytics and natural language processing to better understand networks of related parties, unstructured data and customer activity over time.
- Process automation that combines analytic results and trade related bank policies to help focus on trade transactions activities that may need further investigation in accordance with Citi’s escalation process for them.
“Banks face almost overwhelming scale and complexity in the trade-finance sector and in compliance activities,” said Stu Bradley, vice president of fraud and security intelligence at SAS.
“SAS’ sophisticated analytics platform will help Citi drive more effective and efficient monitoring of trade transactions. The resulting performance and enhanced risk insights should lead to a better risk posture, improved response times for monitoring, and reduced operational costs.”
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