| | | Effective PR

Mentor customers instead of "de-risking."

Nigel Morris-Cotterill suggests that banks and others who terminate e.g. correspondent banking relationships and customers' accounts saying it's because of de-risking might have another option: mentor them to get it right.

Nigel Morris-Cotterill is one of the world's most experienced counter-money laundering strategists. www.countermoneylaundering.com.

Just think about this carefully for a moment: you need business and many of those businesses you are classifying as high risk are actually not doing anything demonstrably wrong, they are just amongst a class of business of a profile, or geography, that you have decided you don't want to work with any more.

But what if you could, by offering help, bring them up to a state where they are not only no more risky than other clients but might actually be good customers generating healthy profits?

What if, for example, you reviewed their training systems and, even, their compliance and risk management manuals? What if you checked their data sources? What if you could, having done that, recommend, perhaps even negotiate, a decent deal for them from data providers? What if you could, even, grant them limited access to your own risk management data? What if you sent along a trusted adviser who helped them bring in awareness where their people were brought up to speed in ways that other institutions can't do?

Wouldn't that reduce and/or manage your risk while allowing the chance for bottom line growth and at relatively small cost to you? And build loyalty in what you might think of as part of your own business development as their customers grow and need overseas banking?

After all, it's 17 years since you sent out questionnaires as a precondition of correspondent banking relationships but mostly didn't follow up with inspections and wondered why things weren't working as you expected.

Your banks spends a fortune on CSR but you could spend it more wisely: helping keep small banks in marginal or risky economies connected to the global financial system is far more valuable than sponsoring a junior soccer team in a city suburb. You are global organisations with global ambitions and global responsibilities. How is cutting an entire section of a fragile economy off from international trade displaying either of those?

Just sayin' ..

Nigel Morris-Cotterill is Head, the Anti Money Laundering Network, ultimate owner of World Money Laundering Report

Nigel Morris-Co...