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Why Is Hiring Across Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Fraud Analysts & Cyber Security At An All-Time High?

There are many factors that have impacted change in the financial crime landscape, and when you look at these together it is easy to see why hiring across Anti-Money Laundering (AML), fraud analysts and cyber security is at an all-time high.

When Covid-19 hit in 2019/2020, did we realise the true impact it would have on the acceleration and innovation of financial criminal activity? Coupled with increased regulation and policy, and the advances in software systems and artificial intelligence technology, you begin to see the bigger picture and contributing factors that influence and drive change in financial crime prevention.    

Here are some of the impacting factors:

  • New fraud opportunities emerge with Covid-19 including:
    • Small business loans and grant fraud.
    • Advance fee scams and identity theft.
    • Frauds promising financial assistance or vaccine access.
  • Increase in drug trafficking stimulated by:
    • Hardships caused by Covid increase drug use as the emotional and psychological impact of unemployment and an uncertain future wreak havoc worldwide. 
    • Increase of unlawful border crossings enabling drug supply channels across continents. 
    • Fewer border controls enabling increases in human trafficking – an issue many financial institution AML departments identify as a high priority.
  • Cryptocurrency frauds seen in: 
    • Surges in cryptocurrency valuation attracts fraudsters – conmen convincing many unsophisticated investors they can make you rich in crypto. 
    • Hacking of cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet theft. 
  • Cyber criminals exploiting:
    • Covid driven work-from-home arrangements with remote access to corporate networks expanded the attack surface for cyber criminals.
  • Digital payment risks manifesting in: 
    • Increase in digital payments due to Covid lockdowns – digital payments are easy and fast, making them convenient to consumers and attractive to fraudsters. 
    • Digitalisation making identity theft even more attractive to criminals – enabling them to steal an individual’s funds and use credentials to log into corporate systems. 
  • Money laundering facilitated by: 
    • Increasing fraud coupled with increasing drug trafficking means billions of dollars of criminal proceeds need laundering. Financial institutions remain responsible for monitoring, detecting, and reporting suspicious activity.  
    • Money launderers taking advantage of the increased need for financial institutions to identify and onboard their customers online due to Covid restrictions.

Lockdowns also meant that many AML and fraud groups radically changed how they worked. No longer in offices collaborating on investigations, sharing information, and learning from one another, investigators have been working by themselves at home.

The wide range of threats facing organisations means there is a high demand for a multitude of financial crime prevention experts, in today’s market often active candidates are interviewing at several organisations at a time – Partnering with a Financial Crime specialist recruitment firm enables hiring managers to tap into the passive candidate market. If you are a line manager our experienced and dedicated Financial Crime team is here to discuss the current market, or if you are looking for a career move, please do reach out to our dedicated Financial Crime recruiter:

Grant Potter | Partner & Head of Americas

T: +1 212 600 4827