How reviewing your AML risk model improves compliance

It is crucial for your business to review its anti-money laundering (AML) risk model to prevent financial crime. Let’s explore how reviewing your AML risk model can improve your AML operations.
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In the complex world of anti-money laundering (AML) compliance, the risk model is the cornerstone of your organisation’s defence against financial crime. But what happens when your risk model undergoes a review? 

Let’s delve into five ways a periodic review of your AML risk model can lead to positive changes in your AML operations.

1. Enhanced detection capabilities

The primary goal of any AML process is to detect and prevent illicit financial activities. 

When you review and update your risk model, you’re fine-tuning your business’ ability to catch suspicious transactions. 

This leads to more precise targeting of actual risks, reducing the noise created by false positives and allowing compliance teams to investigate more focused.

2. Streamlined operational efficiency

Enhanced risk models can optimise AML processes by automating decisions for straightforward cases. 

This enables human specialists to focus on intricate, high-risk situations requiring nuanced assessment. The outcome is a more effective allocation of resources and minimised operational bottlenecks.

3. Staying ahead of the regulatory curve

Regulators worldwide are continuously updating their guidelines to fight money laundering more effectively. 

Regularly reviewing your risk model ensures that your AML processes remain aligned with the latest regulatory expectations, thus avoiding potential fines and reputational damage.

4. Adapting to the evolving risk landscape

The financial industry is dynamic, with a continuous influx of novel products, services, and technologies. 

While these innovations are beneficial, they also bring forth new vulnerabilities related to financial crimes. Regularly assessing and updating your risk model ensures alignment with the shifting risk landscape, allowing it to remain relevant and effective.

5. Improving customer satisfaction

Lengthy KYC controls can result in customer inconvenience and discontent. 

However, an improved risk model can distinguish precisely between customers with low and high risks, thereby minimising unwarranted scrutiny for most and improving the customer journey.


Reviewing your AML risk model is not just a regulatory checkbox; it’s a strategic move that can significantly improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and customer-friendliness of your AML operations. In the fight against financial crime, maintaining a strong and frequently revised risk model is the optimal strategy for protecting your business.

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