BEC and SAS Institute put cloud technology into the fight against money laundering

BEC has signed a contract with SAS Institute for a new cloud platform to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. A three-digit million DKK investment ensures BEC banks access to globally leading technology to fight crime.

Increasingly advanced technology is finding its way to Danish banks to discover money that is related to terrorism, money laundering or other crime. The fintech company BEC, which handles 20-30% of all Danish bank accounts, is now introducing – as the first in the Nordic region – the latest cloud technology from the SAS Institute, which is a global market leader in analysis software.

“BEC banks require as efficient and strong technology as possible to combat being abused for money laundering and terrorist financing. That is why we have rethought our setup completely and are now replacing our entire money laundering monitoring with the latest, globally leading cloud technology,” says Executive Vice President Rune Karl Petersen, Development – Personal & Business Banking at BEC.

In 2020, BEC will invest a three-digit million DKK amount in the new cloud platform and expects to invest a further three-digit million DKK amount in the next three years in building and further developing the platform. The agreement and the new platform are also prepared for further cooperation so that other Danish financial technology providers will be able to join the partnership in the future.

“An efficient technological defense is crucial for banks and the police to be able to quickly detect, investigate and prosecute crime. Our new solution will, among other things, help the banks to know their customers better, it will analyze risks and identify suspicious transactions, and it will gather all available knowledge about the transactions for investigators,” says Rune Karl Petersen, BEC.

Complete AML solution for BEC banks

SAS Anti-Money Laundering is a powerful and scalable cloud solution that supports all steps in a bank’s money laundering monitoring: in-sight into new customers’ relationships, ongo-ing risk assessment of customers when their relationships change, real-time screening for and analysis of suspicious activities – and reporting of all relevant information to the State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and Interna-tional Crime (SØIK).

BEC’s customers – a large number of Danish banks ranging from Arbejdernes Landsbank to Frøslev-Mollerup Sparekasse – will also gain access to artificial intelligence and machine learning, which over time will further reduce the number of false alarms so that banks and authorities can focus their investigative resources best possible. All functions are gathered in one digital entrance, where the banks can analyze, make decisions about, document and report on each individual suspicious activity.

“With this agreement, the BEC banks will have a greater solution than we can ever build ourselves, and we can draw on SAS Institute’s global competencies, so that in the future we can launch new functionality much faster. In BEC, all banks get access to the same, comprehensive functionality, so large and small banks will get some super efficient technology,” says Rune Karl Petersen.

On top of the standard solution, BEC will also add more advanced functionality to larger banks with special needs.

In October, BEC launched the new solution in a test environment and expects the first bank to go into pilot operation in the first quarter of 2021. Depending on how the pilot operation proceeds, BEC then expects to switch on the new solution in the other BEC banks within a year.

Strong imprint in anti-money laundering

BEC uses SAS’s full AML solution as the first in Denmark and the latest user interface as the first in the Nordic region. The agreement with BEC expands SAS ‘already strong AML posi-tion in the Danish banking sector, where most leading players now use all or part of SAS’ AML portfolio. At the same time, it is an exten-sion of the long-standing, close collaboration between BEC and SAS.

“I am very proud of BEC’s choice of SAS as a strategic partner for a very visionary AML solution which will benefit large parts of the Danish banking sector and ensure that Denmark stands strong in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing,” says Nordic Vice President Keld Zornig, SAS Institute.