Jonathan Cowey, Webhelp UK’s Business Director for Regulated Services, talks us through the importance of Know Your Customer in 2022

Can you introduce yourself?

My name’s Jonathan Cowey, Business Director for Regulated Services here at Webhelp. I’ve spent the last few years really helping organizations transform their operations, particularly in the regulated space.

Why is Know Your Customer important right now?

KYC always has and will be important, but as the world becomes even more complex, whether that be data availability and integration, new regulatory pressures or, for example, the year on year increase in sanctioned individuals, Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) and fraud that we see, it has never been more important to get this right.

And I think what also puts this at the forefront of many conversations and discussions that we’re having is the amount of recent failings that we’ve seen. The regulators have issued fines in the hundreds of millions of pounds in the last twelve months, because organizations simply didn’t get this right. And the subsequent cost to remediate and clean all of that up are also massively impacting organizations’ balance sheets.

What should firms be thinking about next when it comes to Know Your Customer?

The real key here, in my view, is striking the right balance between technology and humans. I don’t see any one solution where everything is automated, because of the complexity and the risks that are involved.

But we also know that we can’t solely rely on people. And so, bringing together a strategy that augments these two elements wrapped up in a KYC and regulatory expertise, in my view, will be key to getting this right in 2022.

Now, in order to do that, partnerships with organizations who do this really well and at scale will be actually a real critical consideration. And I think exploring that will really help organizations for new complexities that will no doubt arise this year. But I also think this will help get ready for new regulatory expectations.

Continuous KYC is a good example of that, which we know many of our clients are grappling with today.

Jonathan Cowey is a Business Director with extensive experience delivering operational and customer journey transformation projects within the retail banking sector, including particular specialisms in leading transformations in fraud and anti-money laundering environments.