Survey: Bankers Anticipate Increases in BSA/AML Spending, Staffing

More than a third of bankers say they expect to spend more money on their Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering programs over the next year, according to a new benchmarking survey by the consulting firm RSM. Of those, 44 percent anticipate a 5 to 10 percent increase in their BSA/AML budgets, while 26 percent say they expect to see an 11-20 percent rise. Nearly 30 percent of respondents said that they expect to increase their number of full-time employees in these areas in the next year.

The survey also noted that banks continue to outsource several BSA/AML functions to third-party vendors. The most commonly outsourced functions were BSA/AML internal audits and AML model validation testing, which were outsourced by 62 and 53 percent of all banks surveyed, respectively.

When asked to rate their risk tolerance, 59 percent of larger institutions (those with assets between $1 billion and $20 billion) said that they considered themselves to have a “medium” risk tolerance, while 35 percent said their risk tolerance was “low”. Among banks between $500 million and $1 billion, 44 percent rated their risk tolerance as medium, while 53 percent said it was low.