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Credit Suisse says that a new big data platform and the intelligent deployment of software robots is reversing years of rising compliance costs. Since deploying an advanced data analytics and technology platform earlier this year, the Swiss bank says it has generated a 45-fold increase in the number of productive alerts from its predictive monitoring of transactions compared to last year. Resolution of the alerts is 60% faster despite the volume of data, and the result comes at a fraction of the historical cost of such monitoring.

The shake-up in the compliance function follows the creation in 2015 of an independent Compliance and Regulatory Affairs organisation (CCRO) reporting directly to the CEO.

Lara Warner, who heads up the unit says: "Over the past two years we have gone from a human-led approach to compliance, where we were carrying out periodic checks, to a technology-led approach in which we are continuously monitoring activities across the bank to enable earlier prevention and detection."

The pool of data and advanced analytics accessible to compliance teams via the platform comprises some four billion records. Thanks to a combination of real-time processing and on-the-money monitoring, the bank is now able to perform KYC checks on international client transactions 80% faster at approximately 40% lower costs.

Initially designed to spot patterns of money laundering, the algorithms deployed on the platform are now being adapted to detect fraud and monitor transactions, says Warner.

Credit Suisse has also been deploying an army of software robots to carry out certain repetitive compliance tasks. One of them, dubbed 'James the Robot', is used for suitability and appropriateness checks - to ensure clients are invested in the right products. James conducts these checks 200 times faster than when they were done manually, representing a significant reduction in risk for the bank.

In a statement, the bank says: "After three years of rising compliance costs at Credit Suisse, due both to new regulation and investment in technology, the deployment of the new platform and the use of data analytics in 2017 has turned the tide."

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