The rapid growth in the number of transactions and watchlists is expected to double the cost of sanctions compliance at financial institutions every four years, says SWIFT which released a white paper on the operational challenge of sanctions compliance.
Financial institutions are increasingly seen as the front line in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. As a result, regulators worldwide have intensified their focus on banks' sanctions compliance processes.
With banks under pressure to reduce costs as well as to manage their exposure to risk, having efficient systems and processes in place has never been more crucial.
"Compliance with international sanctions is becoming increasingly complex," says Nicolas Stuckens, Manager, AML & Sanctions Initiatives, SWIFT.
Stuckens notes that sanctions lists evolve daily and the number of transactions that need to be screened is rising rapidly.
"Banks are expected to keep up and tune their sanctions filter in line with their risk appetite, so it has never been more important that systems and processes are effective and efficient," adds Stuckens.