KYC, AML, CFT and sanctions screening checks are a bad answer to a real problem
Many business decisions are baffling. But on the face of it none is as bewildering as the decision by banks, asset managers, wealth managers, private banks, insurance companies and FinTechs to spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on Know Your Client (KYC), Anti Money Laundering (AML), Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) and sanctions screening checks that are not only expensive but useless. The answer is that regulated firms are buying insurance against the wrath of the regulators, and data vendors are delighted to provide it by plying them with high-priced but ineffective data on bad actors in financial markets. Dominic Hobson, co-founder of Future of Finance, asked Vadim Sobolevski, co-founder of FutureFlow, whether there is a better way.