FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Asian banks urged to embrace fintech to slash compliance costs

Facial recognition tech might be useful to combat money laundering attempts.

Reuters reports that an Asia finance industry group urged regulators to encourage intensified fintech adoption in a bid to support the costly fight against money laundering. 

“Fintech solutions, facial recognition for example, hold out great hope for the industry, but haven’t been embraced as quickly as some might like by regulators around the world,” said Mark Austen, chief executive of the Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

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The move comes as lenders have been incurring penalties for not having adequate mechanisms in place to prevent money laundering with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) earlier agreeing to shell out a record $530m for breaching money laundering and terror financing laws.

Both the de-facto central banks of Hong Kong and Singapore have expressed their intent to explore the establishment of KYC utilities or central data repositories that banks can tap to save duplication when adding new clients, although the process is taking time.

“It would be good if financial institutions in Asia at least all thought about the issues around KYC in a similar way,” said William Hallatt, partner at law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.

Here’s more from Reuters:

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