Almost 80% of businesses now using electronic checks, but trust remains low

One in five (21%) business decision-makers say they do not trust any of their anti-money laundering (AML) checks to be automated, despite this year’s lockdown preventing most physical checks.

The findings from leading AML software provider, SmartSearch, show a distinct lack of trust in electronic checks and verification, with 47% of senior business figures showing some level of distrust.

While adoption of automated checks became commonplace during the UK’s first lockdown, a surprising 23% of businesses still have no automated processes in place when it comes to AML.

John Dobson, chief executive at SmartSearch, said: “When lockdown hit first time, businesses suffered when it came to their AML checks.

“These need to be carried out by law, so when physical checks became impossible, it created a lot of issues for those who weren’t already automating at least some of their processes.

“In spite of this, we can see now that 23% of businesses still have no automation in place when it comes to AML checks.

“Lockdown or not, introducing automation in your business is going to create some major efficiencies and free up time to focus on other business priorities.”

RCA (relatives and close associations) checks were least trusted, with just 14% saying they would automate these.