After 20 years of consulting for financial institutions in the UK, US, Europe and Australia, Anthony Quinn, CEO and Founder of RegTech company, Arctic Intelligence, is leading the charge to prevent financial crime.
Anthony explains, “There are millions of businesses in over 30 industry sectors across 200 countries that are subject to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws, and the vast majority of these businesses lack the internal capacity and capability to understand and articulate their vulnerabilities.”
“At Arctic Intelligence, we have developed a suite of audit, risk and compliance platforms that help regulate businesses regardless of their size, sector or geographic location. We build capabilities to identify and assess their financial crime risk exposures and develop a control framework that is appropriate and proportionate to these risks.”
As one of the founding members of The RegTech Association, Anthony is a strong advocate for minimising risk and ensuring effective compliance regulation.
“The Australian Crime Commission estimates that the Australian economy loses $50 billion a year to financial crime, including fraud, anti-money laundering, bribery, corruption and human trafficking. Only 1% of criminal proceeds are ever recovered, which is a lot of money in the hands of organised crime syndicates, causing unfathomable social harm,” he says.
“Globally, USD$1.45 trillion is the annual estimated impact of financial crime. Money laundering is the third largest industry in the world and it’s insane that we’re not doing more as a community to try and prevent it.”
Founded in 2013 initially as a side hustle whilst working at Macquarie Bank, Anthony joined the Stone & Chalk community when the innovation hub first launched. Arctic Intelligence has since launched several unique platforms which enable cloud-based software-as-a-service to help companies better manage their financial crime risk and compliance obligations.
“Probably for the first time ever, organisations are taking a hard look in the mirror and realising that their organisations are vulnerable to financial crime risks. They’re also under pressure from domestic regulators, like AUSTRAC, to explain implementation and effectiveness of their money laundering risk assessments, systems, procedures and controls in managing their financial crime risk exposure. Many are found wanting.”
“This has started to translate into a higher demand for what we offer: capabilities to help reduce financial crime risk exposures and strengthen the control framework to reduce the likelihood of their businesses being exploited by criminal networks.”
Since being in the hub, Arctic Intelligence has acquired over 100 clients in over 15 industry sectors and 5 countries and continues to grow.
In August 2018, Arctic Intelligence raised $2.8 million in fresh funding to expand their team and fuel global expansion efforts, starting with acquiring full control of AML Accelerate - its market-leading money laundering risk assessment platform.
“Regulators are struggling to effectively regulate and enforce compliance, which has led to general apathy among regulated businesses. Though they are increasingly expected to do more to protect our communities and businesses from being exploited by criminal networks, without the support of RegTech companies they will continue to struggle to regulate the thousands of businesses they have a responsibility towards.”
Having been the AML Program Director for the retail arm of Macquarie Bank, Anthony understands all too well the challenges the industry and regulators face in driving compliance.
“One of the biggest flaws in Australia’s current AML laws is that there is no mandated timeframe from regulated entities to commission independent reviews, despite committing to mandate this in 2015.”
“The net effect of this is that many businesses have never had the design and operational effectiveness of their AML programs challenged, and as a result there is wide-spread non-compliance among the 14,700 regulated businesses.”
“AUSTRAC is also under-resourced, with just over 300 resources responsible for regulating 14,700 businesses in the financial services, gaming and bullion sectors. This is expected to grow exponentially by a further 90,000 firms when the Australian Government eventually decide to regulate gatekeepers like lawyers, accountants, real-estate agents and high-value dealers.”
“As a result, a radical rethink is necessary: without embracing technology themselves and encouraging regulated firms to adopt, regulators have zero chance of effectively regulating this number of companies.”
This year, Arctic Intelligence has completed initial phase development of a new sophisticated institutional risk assessment platform and are now engaged in pilots and focus group workshops ahead of a formal launch in the second half of the year.
“We’re seeing various industries struggle with a wide range of challenges; at one end of the spectrum there are large, complex organisations that have been regulated for over a decade recognising they have major financial crime risk exposures. At the other end of the spectrum there are newly regulated businesses without the internal capacity or capabilities, and a very superficial understanding of their financial crime risk exposures, all looking for solutions that can help their Boards sleep at night.”
“Arctic Intelligence can help those businesses at both ends of the spectrum, regardless of their size, sector or geography,” says Anthony.
To find out more about Arctic Intelligence and their market-leading cloud-based audit, risk and compliance platforms, contact them here.
11 June 2019