Greater use of technology to identify the risks of money laundering and other financial crime is being considered by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Neil Williams of business crime solicitors Rahman Ravelli believes this is a sign of growing FCA confidence.

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has stated that it intends to make greater use of machine-learning technology to identify companies and individuals that launder money and pose other risks to the financial sector.

Christopher Woolard, the FCA's executive director of strategy and competition, used a speech in London to state that his agency is supporting the development of technical methods of tackling money laundering.

The FCA is to host a meeting with global regulatory and law enforcement officials later this year to outline its strategy. According to Woolard, the FCA also plans to make greater use of science, technology, engineering and maths graduates in order to increase its capability in areas such as cybersecurity, data science and technology.

Last year, the FCA and the Bank of England launched a six-month, digital-reporting pilot programme with Barclays, Credit Suisse, Lloyds, Nationwide, NatWest and Santander as an effort to try and standardise the reporting of regulatory data.

"We want to explore not only how technology can drive new products, services and firms in consumers' interests, but also what it can do to reduce the compliance burden of existing ones and make them more effective," said Woolard in his speech.

The announcement by the FCA regarding technology should come as no surprise given the technological advancements made by those determined to launder money.

With the increasing use of artificial intelligence by investigators to sift through large volumes of material, the move by the FCA to expand its technological approach to monitoring and investigating money laundering is a sign of the increasingly robust approach to its investigative role. This role was set out in its business plan for the year ahead.

With the FCA having also recently imposed its second largest-ever fine for anti-money laundering failings - the £102.2M fine on Standard Chartered - it appears that the FCA's confidence is growing. This confidence is likely to increase further if it can succeed in its aim of making greater use of technology.

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