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Freetrade drives global growth with comprehensive, flexible ongoing customer screening

Customer Stories

An investment company aiming to help everyone invest simply and affordably, Freetrade partnered with ComplyAdvantage to conduct ongoing customer screening. The firm is authorized by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA), and its 1.3 million users can trade commission-free across thousands of stocks across the UK, Europe, and the US.

“The company is growing massively and expanding into different jurisdictions, but it’s really important that as a financial crime team, we do what we can to really protect customers and remain compliant.” 

Denzel Akuffo, Financial Crime Lead at Freetrade

Prior to working with ComplyAdvantage, Freetrade only screened customers at the beginning of the business relationship. When the company determined it needed to implement more rigorous ongoing monitoring, it learned the provider it used at the time was not flexible enough to meet its needs.

Flexible screening, better data, and proactive support

Freetrade selected ComplyAdvantage as a partner that could deliver ongoing screening and monitoring alongside the flexibility to configure the lists it screened against. The investment firm was also navigating a global expansion as sanctions became more complex due to global events, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The financial crime team noticed that even listed companies were becoming subject to sanctions.

Throughout this journey, ComplyAdvantage has been able to provide flexible screening tailored to its risks and reliable, up-to-date global sanctions and politically exposed person (PEP) data.

“The quality of data we get through ComplyAdvantage is really important to us. Through ComplyAdvantage, we have comfort that we’re screening and identifying high-level PEPs and all the way down to local councilors.” 

Rob O’Sullivan, Director, Financial Crime Compliance and MLRO, Freetrade

Akuffo added that the PEP data the team can access is holistic. “ComplyAdvantage also allows us to screen against relatives and close associates,” he said. “We know that it’s not just the PEP in question – we can also identify people that are close to them.”

Freetrade’s relationship with its customer success manager (CSM) ensures that ongoing screening and monitoring remains robust and aligned with the firm’s risk-based approach. “The CSM is almost like an integral part of our team,” explained O’Sullivan. “They really drive forward improvements on our behalf.”

Maximizing resources and scaling with accurate screening 

As it grew, Freetrade needed to improve its efficiency to scale while meeting its regulatory obligations. ComplyAdvantage’s tailored screening solution helped it focus on key risks while cutting down on low-risk alerts that could funnel valuable analyst resources away from priority investigations. 

“We’ve seen a reduction in false positives by around 50%, which has been massive for us. So we’ve been able to manage resources a lot better within the financial crime team.”

Denzel Akuffo, Financial Crime Lead, Freetrade 

“We’d certainly recommend ComplyAdvantage to any other business,” said O’Sullivan. “They’ve really helped us grow, mature, and scale and have been an integral part of our journey.”

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Originally published 16 October 2023, updated 08 February 2024

Disclaimer: This is for general information only. The information presented does not constitute legal advice. ComplyAdvantage accepts no responsibility for any information contained herein and disclaims and excludes any liability in respect of the contents or for action taken based on this information.

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