This week is Financial Crime Week at Target Group. Our ambition for the week is to 'Empower our colleagues to keep clients and customers safe'.

From money laundering to cybercrime, the risk to businesses, particularly those involved in the financial services sector, is significant. The UK financial services sector now collectively spends £22,000 per hour fighting fraud and financial crime, according to the latest study into the impact of regulatory compliance on the market.

A growing threat

With the rise of platforms and the movement to hybrid working, there's even more risk as criminals seek to exploit system and platform vulnerabilities. Platforms like social media, e-commerce sites and enterprise software provide another route in for hackers. PwC's Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2022 found that 51% of surveyed organisations experienced fraud in the past two years, with 40% of those experiencing platform fraud. 

We also recently highlighted the increase in payment APP fraud in our recent 'The future evolution of payments' white paper. The most recent Annual Fraud report from UK Finance highlights that an incredible £600 million was stolen through fraud and scams in the first half of 2022 alone. Banks' advanced security systems prevented another £584 million from being stolen. 

Fraud can take multiple forms, including insurance fraud, identity theft, credit card fraud, investment scams, misrepresentation, and increasingly common CEO fraud and phishing attacks. And it can happen to anyone, at any time, via any channel and on any device. That's why we all need to be hyper-alert to the risks. 

Our duty to protect

As an FCA-regulated business, we take our financial crime prevention and reporting obligations very seriously. We have a duty to our clients, colleagues, and customers. Our own and our client's reputations and balance sheet demand it. Top-tier banks and prominent clients trust us with their portfolios and customer base, and that trust is fundamental to our success. Most importantly, preventing financial crime aligns with our core values as it is fundamentally about doing the right thing to protect the public, especially the most vulnerable in society, from bad people. 

The financial crime team at Target supports customers, colleagues, and clients in several ways. We provide oversight and support relating to financial crime matters to the operation. We're responsible for dealing with all aspects concerning financial crime, including suspicious activity investigations, money laundering and terrorist finance prevention, sanction checking, liaising with law enforcement, and fraud management issues. We also provide colleague training and support and have an escalation process in place. 

Challenging perceptions

Financial crime teams are often siloed in organisations and not seen as approachable. In the past, they may have been seen as obstructive, preventing growth, or delaying opportunities with excessive scrutiny. Also, there's often a lack of understanding of what financial crime teams do. 

Our goal is to break down the walls of compliance and show the whole Target team that we're not the 'police force' of the business but an approachable, friendly team who can answer all questions and support colleagues in identifying and raising suspicions confidently. 

A collective responsibility

So, this week, we're focused on spreading the message that every member of the Target family is a financial crime fighter. We've had a packed week of events, from an all colleagues 'facts and snacks' video call to physical and virtual drop-in sessions and ask us anything Q&A.  

It's been a pleasure speaking to colleagues across the business this week. Together we can protect each other, our business, and our clients, and, in doing so, continue to transform customer experiences. 


Financial crime compliance – have we lost sight of what we’re fighting for? | Insights | UK Finance

PwC’s Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2022