Recent findings from PwC’s 2022 Global Economic Crime Survey highlighted an alarming trend: nearly two-thirds of insurance companies faced financial irregularities in 2021. The survey depicts growing AML compliance irregularities within the insurance sector. With global authorities tightening control with strict AML regulations and life insurance sanctions, understanding and adhering to compliance norms has become crucial.
While the insurance sector offers financial safety nets for countless individuals, it’s not immune to the tactics of savvy criminals. These nefarious actors have identified and exploited various insurance products, weaving complex webs to launder illicit gains.
For instance, annuity policies have become favored tools, especially those with high regular premiums. Criminals pour in fraudulent funds as premiums, and in return, receive a steady stream of ‘clean’ income. But that’s not the end of their resourcefulness. Some maneuver the system by purchasing policies and transferring their ownership to third parties involved in money laundering, effectively turning illegal funds into legitimate payouts.
Moreover, single premium policies and top-ups provide avenues for large sums to change hands discreetly. By investing in single premium policies or making top-up payments, launderers find avenues to dump large chunks of tainted money, all under the guise of genuine transactions.
Even mechanisms meant to provide flexibility to policyholders, like cooling-off periods, are not spared. Money launderers sometimes overpay premiums intentionally or manipulate the system to claim refunds, successfully washing significant sums. Additionally, the crafty use of policy loans, where a life insurance policy’s cash value is leveraged, allows these criminals to circulate illicit funds while staying under the radar.
The insurance landscape isn’t just about crafting the best policies for clients; it’s also about vigilance against covert financial threats. As criminals increasingly weave complex plots to exploit insurance solutions for money laundering, companies are under pressure to amp up their defenses.
Knowing your customer, popularly referred to as KYC, stands crucial to combat the covert operations of money launderers. The process involves more than just gathering personal information. It’s about comprehensively understanding the individual or entity wanting to purchase insurance, assessing the associated risks, and ensuring their legitimacy.
This AML tool is about making sure potential clients are not on any prohibited lists. the sanctions screening process in Anti-Money Laundering (AML) tools is about cross-referencing potential clients against lists of those who shouldn’t be engaged, especially when it comes to life insurance.
Every transaction can tell a story. Insurers are tasked with being the discerning readers of these stories, especially those associated with life insurance policies or products that have a cash value. Keeping a keen eye on policy loans, changes in payment methods, and unusual transaction patterns is crucial in identifying potential laundering activities.
All measures require effective implementation, and that’s where supervision comes in. Insurers need a hierarchy of compliance, with a Designated Director and a Senior Principal Officer, ensuring that all activities align with the PML Act and rules. Their role is pivotal in ensuring that AML risks are consistently monitored and managed.
It’s not enough to just know a customer; insurers must categorize them based on the risk they pose. This involves segregating clients into ‘Low-Risk’ and ‘High-Risk’ categories, based on various parameters. While low-risk customers fit a general profile, high-risk entities, like trusts, NGOs, or politically exposed persons, demand heightened scrutiny.
Navigating insurance compliance can be intricate, but KYC Hub makes it straightforward and efficient. Here’s why insurers are leaning on KYC Hub – By harnessing the power of AI and ML, our tool swiftly transforms raw customer data into actionable profiles, ensuring insurers remain in lockstep with the ever-evolving insurance regulations.
More than just a compliance tool, KYC Hub drives operational efficiency with its automated AML processes, elevating user experiences and adding undeniable value. Companies can safeguard their reputation by being a step ahead of potential threats, while also benefiting from clear and comprehensive audit trails. The onboarding process sees a notable uplift, becoming not just swift but also finely tuned to every individual customer’s needs.
Additionally, KYC Hub’s commitment to revolutionizing the digital insurance sphere is evident. It offers real-time document checks during onboarding and provides a suite of tailored solutions for insurers, from Corporate Due Diligence to global KYC checks. The result? A dramatic reduction in onboarding time, significant volume increases, and a sharp decline in false positives. To know more, click here for a demo.