It’s time for some 2024 AML predictions. These are guaranteed to be 100% accurate. How is that? Because each is based on something that has remained the same for thousands of years – human nature. Human nature is the best frame for prediction-making. Let’s apply it to AML for 2024.

▪ Greed & Power: A sizable number of people from all parts of the world will commit crimes to increase their wealth, harm others, and seek control. This has never not happened. And it happens more when systems of control, like laws and stable governments, weaken and break down. Look around – our complex systems are unstable, and many are failing. Crime will go up. This creates more risk for all financial organizations.

▪ Curiosity: AI and Machine Learning, we’re told, will bring improvements to decade-old AML problems. Financial Crime Compliance buyers want to learn more. They want to see if the hype is real. This creates selling opportunities for software firms to help improve AML. But…

▪ Self Preservation, Protection, and Risk Aversion are why we still exist. Without caution and wariness of the unknown, we’d be extinct. Our primal brains resist change. We seek the safety of the status quo. For AML operations, this means no dramatic changes. Regulators will continue to protect themselves and their agencies by questioning all changes AML programs make. This keeps progress to a crawl. AML executives will explore new software but won’t ditch existing applications for entirely new approaches. People who run people-based operations will still rely on people.

▪ Progress: Without progress and adaptation to changes, we also would not exist. In regulated environments, this means small changes occur slowly. Some of these changes will be in 2024. One example is adapting to the expected rollout of the new UBO identification rules in the US. But nothing will be “reimagined” or “transformed.” Slow progress – yes. Upheaval – no.

To hold ourselves accountable, we will check back with this in 12 months to see if:
▪ Worldwide crime increased.
▪ AML executives learned more about new technology but made few, if any, significant new software purchases.
▪ Regulators were suspect of new approaches, which kept change to a minimum.
▪ More people, not fewer, work in AML.
▪ New regulation rollouts were confusing, created a lot of concern, were implemented, and then became part of the updated status quo.

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