Neterium SRL


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Today, we embark on a seamless journey of regulatory compliance with Neterium and all our partners.

Discover our new series: “Navigating success through strategic partnerships”.

At Neterium, we take pride in our strategic partnerships with industry-leading data vendors to deliver unparalleled screening solutions.

Raising the bar in watchlist management, Neterium assumes the critical role of hosting, updating, and carefully managing lists for our users.

In this endeavour, we are privileged to host and manage the LSEG World-Check Risk Intelligence content for our shared clients.

Join us as we engage in an in-depth conversation with Teodora Christova, Director, Global Strategic Partnerships at London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) to explore the dynamics of Neterium and LSEG partnership.

Can you introduce yourself, Teodora, and provide some insights into your role as Director, leading the Global Strategic Partnerships at LSEG?

My name is Teodora Christova and I have over 20 years’ experience in financial services, having worked for leading investment banks and as a vendor of Risk and Compliance data and solutions to banks and other regulated industries, to support their compliance processes and enable critical decision-making.

At London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), I lead Global Strategic Partnerships for the Risk Intelligence business. The partnerships I manage span screening, due diligence, digital identity and fraud prevention. Working in collaboration with best-in-class technology providers is essential in supporting the many ways LSEG customers consume AML/KYC, identity data and insights. Strong partnerships also enable us to solve for customers’ wider requirements around fighting financial crime.

In the context of dealing with sanctions screening, the importance of a trusted data provider is paramount. What, in your perspective, defines "high-quality" data in this context?

Our definition of “high-quality” is intelligence data on heightened risk individuals and entities that is global in nature and comprehensive in coverage to assist with compliance to international and regional sanctions regimes. High-quality data should be structured and deduplicated to ensure targeted screening results and to reduce noise and false positives.

A trusted and reliable data vendor must have a mature research process, with sound inclusion criteria, verified sources and clockwork research operations. The timeliness of the research process and the speed of adding new profiles as updates are happening on the market has become of critical importance. As an example, the UK, together with international partners, introduced an unprecedented number of sanctions in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

In parallel, LSEG demonstrated the resilience of its World-Check research process and enhanced due diligence capabilities and was able to provide full support of our customers 24/7 against a backdrop of heightened turbulence.

At LSEG Risk Intelligence, we rely on over 500 analysts in research centres across five continents, covering 240 countries and territories. On Sanctions specifically, our specialist research unit monitors major sanction lists 24/7, 365 days of the year. On an annual basis, our sanctions processes undergo ISAE 3000 design-effectiveness certification, which is a testament of the accuracy and completeness of our processes.

Finally, we also provide a range of delivery methods that can be customised to customers’ workflows, including web-based access via desktop, bulk download of data, or functional API – available via a homegrown or partner technology that best suits the customer’s specific requirements.

In terms of data management, what challenges arise for financial institutions in the context of sanctions-based payment screening, and what strategies can be implemented to overcome these challenges?

Regulatory obligations are always going to be a challenge for financial institutions (FIs), as the need for them to adapt is nearly permanent. As regulations continue to evolve and become more complex, the risk of “not getting it right” increases, commensurate with the reputational risk. Our customers are facing an ever-increasing cost of compliance, and they seek to meet regulatory obligations and drive operational efficiency at the same time. While there is an expectation from regulators that companies should be able to execute compliance practically in real time, there is also the expectation from the customer that processes will become safer, faster and simpler on their end.

Furthermore, FIs are embracing innovation – they are under pressure to innovate, as there are so many Fintechs bringing out new solutions, especially in the payment technology space, driven by exponential growth in e-commerce and embedded services. To stay competitive in the marketplace, traditional banks are having to skill up to perform and deliver like Fintechs. But they face obstacles along the way and can encounter significant hurdles when harnessing new technology. Key reasons for the struggle include slow progress on digitization of data, or customer data of poor quality and in varying formats. The expectation is that the new regulation and adoption of new formats in payments is going to drive standardization; this should alleviate some of the pain. To support both commercial and preventative opportunities, data remains core.

There are a couple of items that could form a strong set of strategies for these companies. The most important step is organizational alignment on a single source of truth – this isn’t technical and can be political. Next, agreement should be reached on the least common denominator when it comes to data depth. One of the biggest challenges of MDM (Master Data Management) is dealing with the complexity and diversity of data sources, formats, standards, and definitions across the organization. Alignment on the prevailing data model, schema, and rules is important.

To effectively implement an MDM strategy, organizations must institute and enforce data quality standards, policies, and procedures. Data quality issues can arise from various factors, such as human errors, duplication, inconsistency, incompleteness, or outdatedness of data. Poor data quality can affect your business performance, customer satisfaction, decision making and compliance. Utilizing data quality tools becomes essential for continuous monitoring, measurement, and improvement of data quality. It is crucial for financial institutions to select a business partner that will be able to help them look at all different spheres that can impact their operations and to provide a holistic, end-to-end solution, to manage different types of risks, including the risk of reputational damage.

From your standpoint, what is the added value the partnership between Neterium and LSEG brings to the market?

Data and technology will always play a vital role to companies when we consider regulation, fostering innovation and bringing competitive advantage. In sanctions screening, no real innovation has happened in the past 15 years. Legacy solutions fail to keep up with the evolution of the market, while the exponential pace of regulation and world events demand a new approach.

By partnering with Neterium, we provide a powerful combination of heightened risk data, leading- edge screening and monitoring technology and human expertise to help overstretched compliance teams maximise their resources and investments, so they can make meaningful improvements to risk management and compliance efforts.

What potential future developments do you foresee in the field of payment screening, and how will they impact the strategies and tools used by organisations to comply with sanctions?

The payments ecosystem is in constant evolution – the sector has been in a nearly permanent state of disruption for the last 20 years: BNPL transaction adoption doubled since 2022 and real-time payments are soaring by 40-50% YoY. In combination with the ongoing ISO 20022 standardization in the sector, this creates the “perfect storm” for the next stage of evolution of payments.

Banks face an uphill battle toward instant payments: Fintechs and neo-banks have made it easier to transfer money cross-border pressing everyone [traditional banks] to innovate. Reducing the time between publishing and downloading the lists is a challenge with lots of room for improvement. As transaction screening obligations and cross-border payment volumes increase, technology and data can play a significant role in achieving operational efficiency and compliance effectiveness.

Companies will continue to be pressured by regulators on one side on how quickly they provide and perform the required activities. At the same time, customers will also demand greater efficiency of processes and exceptional customer experience. With this scenario in mind, it will be even clearer that companies will need to partner with strong business players that are able to surround them with the best data and technology to thrive in such a turbulent environment.