Our Financial Crime Practice Lead, Kavita Harwani, recently attended the FRC Leadership Convention at the Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales. This gave us the opportunity to engage with senior leaders in the financial risk and compliance space on the latest best practices, upcoming technology advances, and practical insights.

Criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated, driving MLROs to innovate their financial crime controls. There is never a quiet time for FRC professionals, but 2024 is proving to be exceptionally busy.
Our view on the top five trends that MLROs need to focus on is presented here.

Top 5 Trends

  1. Minimise costs by using technology to scan the regulatory horizon and identify impacts on your business
  2. Accelerating transaction monitoring & decisioning by applying AI & data analytics
  3. Optimising due diligence with a 360 view of the customers
  4. Improving operational efficiency by using machine learning to automate alert handling
  5. Reducing financial crime risk through training and communications programmes.

1. Regulatory Compliance and Adaptation

MLROs need to stay abreast of evolving regulatory frameworks and compliance requirements. With regulatory changes occurring frequently, MLROs must ensure their organisations are compliant with the latest anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) regulations.

This involves scanning the regulatory horizon, updating policies, procedures, and systems to reflect regulatory updates and adapting swiftly to new compliance challenges.

2. Technology & Data Analytics

MLROs will increasingly leverage advanced technology and data analytics tools to enhance their AML capabilities.

Machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics can help identify suspicious activities more effectively, allowing MLROs to detect and prevent money laundering and financial crime quicker, at lower cost, and with higher accuracy rates.

MLROs must focus on implementing robust AML technologies and optimising data analytics strategies to improve risk detection and decision-making processes.

3. Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD)

MLROs should prioritise strengthening CDD processes to better understand their customers’ risk of committing financial crimes.

Enhanced due diligence is critical for high-risk customers, such as politically exposed persons (PEPs) and high net worth individuals (HNWIs).

MLROs should focus on enhancing risk-based approaches to CDD and EDD, leveraging technology and data analytics to streamline customer onboarding processes while maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements.

4. Transaction Monitoring and Suspicious Activity Reporting

MLROs will continue to refine transaction monitoring systems to effectively identify suspicious activities and generate accurate alerts for investigation.

MLROs should focus on optimising transaction monitoring rules and scenarios to reduce false positives and prioritise high-risk transactions for further review.

Enhanced collaboration with law enforcement agencies and financial intelligence units will be crucial for timely and accurate suspicious activity reporting. Cross-industry collaboration is an expanding route to quicker insights on bad actors and behaviours.

5. Training and Awareness Programmes

MLROs must invest in comprehensive training and awareness programs to educate employees on AML risks, obligations, and best practices.

Building a strong culture of compliance within the organisation is essential for effective AML risk management.

Additionally, MLROs must promote a proactive approach to AML compliance, encouraging employees to raise concerns and seek guidance when faced with potential AML risks.


The expanded use of technology and data is becoming more evident from our discussions. The latest, ever-accelerating, improvements in automation and AI has brought a new set of opportunities to transform legacy manual, people-heavy processes into streamlined, efficient, and effective anti-financial crime departments.

Leading Point has a specialist financial crime team and can help strengthen your operations and meet these challenges in 2024. Reach out to our practice lead Kavita Harwani on kavita@leadingpoint.io to discuss your needs further.

Kavita Harwani
Mansi Adatiya