5th May 2021

OakNorth Bank

The Outcomes

ComplyAdvantage’s comprehensive data coverage means OakNorth Bank is now able to use one single platform to onboard and monitor customers against all relevant databases. The solution’s customizability has made it easy to configure search algorithms and select the databases most relevant to the bank’s customer base and business priorities.

The application’s easy-to-use interface means that inputting and managing data within the system is simple. Daily hits are easy to review and audit, and cases that require additional due diligence can be quickly escalated to senior members of the Financial Crime team. Maria Varley, Head of Client Onboarding (Lending), said: “ComplyAdvantage gives me a high degree of control via various reports and the case management system. It is easy to generate reports, which enable quick audit reviews and greater visibility into the data.”Thomas Szymanski, Senior Operations Manager (Deposits), continued: “Since we launched, all new applicants only have a 2.3% hit rate so far and the overall portfolio (which includes all existing customers we migrated over from our previous provider) has a 4.1% hit rate. This ultimately means the team can spend time less time reviewing false positives and more time on value-add activities.”

The exceptional support provided by ComplyAdvantage’s customer success team also played a central in OakNorth Bank’s decision. Maria said:

“One of the biggest positives about dealing with ComplyAdvantage was their customer service. From the very first engagement, the team was brilliant and extremely supportive. Any queries we have are answered in a matter of hours, if not minutes. It is great to have somebody providing you with this level of very personalized support.”

The Company

OakNorth Bank is a leading UK bank that provides fast, flexible, and accessible debt finance of £500k to £45m to what it calls the ‘Missing Middle’ – businesses that are the most significant contributors to economic and employment growth. OakNorth Bank was launched in September 2015 to address this funding gap in the UK.

OakNorth Bank’s lending is supported by its award-winning savings franchise, offering a range of Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)-protected products to savers at all stages of life and businesses at all stages of growth. Its convenient, competitive, and frictionless deposit offering, coupled with its exceptional customer service, has enabled it to attract over 170,000 savings customers and achieve a depositor Net Promoter Score of 77.

Industry: Commercial Lending and Banking
Product: AML Customer Screening and Ongoing Monitoring

The Challenges

For its lending operations, OakNorth Bank’s screening processes were fragmented: its compliance team used one provider for anti-money laundering checks and another for all other customer screening checks.

Meanwhile, for its savings operations, its screening and ongoing monitoring processes to identify whether customers are a Politically Exposed Person (PEP) or subject to sanctions, were time consuming and generated a high number of false positives.

The company therefore needed an API-driven solution that would integrate into its existing tech stack, streamline its compliance workflows, and consolidate the data into one unified view. As its lending operations are distinct from its deposit operations, it was also critical that the case management workflow could be kept separate.

The Solution

After a thorough selection process, OakNorth Bank chose ComplyAdvantage’s customer screening and ongoing monitoring solution because its high-quality, comprehensive data made consolidation of workflows possible. Its simple, two-way RESTful API would also facilitate quick data transfers between the application and OakNorth Bank’s systems.

ComplyAdvantage’s customer success team worked closely with OakNorth Bank’s compliance team to configure the search parameters and tailor the case management workflows to their needs in line with their risk appetite.

For deposit customers, the ComplyAdvantage team went through various rounds of in-depth testing of the PEP & sanctions screening process, with an emphasis on tailoring the approach to OakNorth Bank’s screening & monitoring needs and required lists. ComplyAdvantage’s PEP ranking is based on FATF’s categorization and the continuous PEP Enrichment Data Pipeline is a permanent feature of the PEP data collection process. Due to the focus of reducing false positives, a data test was run at 20%, 30%, 40% and 50% fuzziness levels and against all Sanctions, Watchlists and PEP classes. Utilising search profiles allowed OakNorth Bank to reduce the match rate even further.

OakNorth savings app