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Product Update: BIC Screening

Product Updates Knowledge & Training

Transaction screening is a critical extension of an effective transaction monitoring program. Sanctions breaches constitute serious offenses and can result in heavy penalty fines. Accordingly, banks and financial institutions must check customers against relevant sanctions lists as efficiently and accurately as possible. 

Since those lists change constantly, ensuring screening processes stay up to date and effective, and avoid inefficiencies and false positives, is an ongoing issue for obligated firms. The biggest challenge in this area consists of large volumes of transactions and critical time pressures.

To improve the accuracy of your screening program while minimizing false positives, ComplyAdvantage offers the ability to screen the SWIFT / Bank Identification Code (BIC) of a bank instead of its name.

Bank Identification Code (BIC)?

BICs are unique bank identifiers, and some sanction lists include sanctioned BICs. According to SWIFT, the 7,000 banks that use the SWIFT network for correspondent banking have more than 1 million individual correspondent relationships. Screening the BIC code instead of the entity name therefore significantly improves false-positive rates on correspondent bank screening. 

BICs are sometimes mentioned in sanctions lists – when this happens, ComplyAdvantage adds them to its database. The database is enriched by the addition of missing BICs through manual updates made by the ComplyAdvantage sanctions team. 

Why is this important to my business?

  1. Screen counterparty banks as part of your compliance program.
  2. Improve screening accuracy without increasing false positives.
  3. Keep pace with ever-evolving financial crime activity.

ComplyAdvantage Transaction Screening

  • Screen the whole transaction against real-time Sanctions and Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) coverage via a single API call
  • Identify sanctions risk in all parts of the payment message including unstructured free reference text.
  • Select sanction lists, fuzziness levels, or the most commonly configured algorithms, on a rule-by-rule basis, to configure a risk-based approach in a more granular way.
  • Aggregated transaction-level alerts, MI reporting and an electronic audit trail.

If you would like to find out more about how ComplyAdvantage can drive efficiencies in your transaction risk management program, speak to a member of our team.

Originally published March 2, 2022, updated March 2, 2022

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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