Transformational Consultancy Expertise in Financial Crime Risk Management
Anti-Financial Crime

Major regulatory change and interventions continued throughout 2018 with regulators imposing fines and remediation programmes on firms of all sizes for the full range of financial crime risks.

The experience of a number of high-profile banks in well publicised cases demonstrates that the financial regulatory penalties imposed are just the tip of the iceberg.

Further impacts can be seen in terms of massive remediation costs, reputational damage and impacts on profits and share price.

Welcome to the New Link in Financial Services Consulting
Providing Innovative Expertise in Financial Crime Risk Management

At New Link Consulting, our Anti-Financial Crime (‘AFC’) team works with clients across the first and second lines of defence to;
  1. Fix past mistakes
  2. Reduce complexity
  3. Generate value and drive through efficiencies
  4. Better manage financial crime risks

Our industry experience has identified that many of the financial crime processes applied in firms are inefficient and do not achieve the objectives of detecting or reducing financial crime. Our aim is to work with clients to transform the way they manage financial crime risks. We will challenge conventional approaches to activities like client on-boarding, screening and transaction monitoring. Wherever we can, we will seek to find a better way to achieve the same outcomes to the satisfaction of all stakeholders, including regulators. This will typically involve the introduction of new, more efficient processes, new technology and re-skilling financial crime and front-line staff.

Our key differentiator is that we combine our AFC industry expertise, gained from years of direct experience working in firms and with regulators, with experienced change management skills. By coupling deep AFC domain knowledge with extensive experience in operational design, business architecture, process improvement, project and programme delivery and technology deployment, we deliver a lasting and proportionate response to regulatory change and interventions. This blend of subject matter expertise and delivery agility enables us to tailor our services to meet the specific requirements of each client assignment. The outcome is a collaborative, team-based approach to problem solving with exceptional delivery standards, which help us to exceed the expectations of our clients.

Anti-Financial Crime: A Radical New Approach
“Firms dedicate extensive resources to AFC activities that are high volume and relatively low value in terms of detecting and preventing financial crime. If we can help firms reduce this burden we believe they will be able to focus their efforts on more sophisticated techniques, such as data analytics, to make a dramatic impact on the fight against financial crime.”
Claire Lincoln-White, New Link Consulting

Clients are spending millions annually on technology and data quality as they begin to see the long-term benefits. While the initial investment can be significant, it means that the firm can break the link, and cost, between changes in business and impact on human capital levels. New Link Consulting believes that the control functions have been underinvested in to date. Banks need to keep up. Even smaller firms will need to invest in more non-financial risk management technology and ensure they have good quality data, though they will be able to deploy less customised, off-the-shelf products because, generally, their operations are less complex.

UK Finance estimate that in the UK alone, excluding the work of front-line staff, the annual cost of meeting anti- financial crime obligations is more than £5bn. Financial services firms reported 447,484 Suspicious Activity Reports to the National Crime Agency in 2018 (a 9.6% increase on the 2017 numbers). There can be little doubt that firms are working hard to meet the relevant regulatory requirements. But firms continue to make fundamental mistakes and the regulatory sanctions continue to mount.

New Link Consulting works with clients to address the following challenges.
Engage Senior Management

The firms that typically achieve the best AFC results are those with senior management who genuinely believe they can make a material difference to reducing the risks of financial crime. As is the case with many regulatory risks, the ‘tone from the top’, supported by strong governance and robust management information, are critical to AFC success.

Understand the Risk
In our experience, many firms have not correctly or adequately identified the current and emerging financial crime risks within their business, which limits their ability to take a truly risk-based approach. A thorough assessment of the real financial crime risks in the business will mean that controls can be tailored more effectively, and, in many instances, resources re-deployed to where they will have much greater impact.
Reduce Complexity
Many firms’ AFC systems and controls have evolved over time to reflect legal and regulatory requirements and industry standards as they emerge. This can lead to siloed approaches in organisations, ineffective handovers and inefficient processes which result in significant running costs.
Review Manual Processes
Many AFC compliance processes still incorporate high levels of manual work, for example in sanctions and PEP alert screening. Whilst there will always be the need for expert resources, many of these simple checks can be automated, using relatively simple technologies.
Reduce 'False Positives'
Clients are spending millions annually on relatively low-value activity at the expense of using data and technology to identify the more material financial crime risks. Whist there is no ‘silver bullet’ in terms of technology, the use of fairly simple artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics tools, combined with process improvements and workflow tools, can have a dramatic impact on the cost of investigating false positives.
Reduce 'False Positives'
Large firms typically have large volumes of low-quality, unstructured data that is not fully integrated. The potential intelligence contained within this data, in terms of financial crime detection, is an often-untapped resource.
Review the AFC Operating Model
AFC operating models have typically evolved over time to respond to a rapidly changing regulatory landscape. The models can however be misaligned with the expected lines of defence, fail to utilise available technology, provide a lack of clarity on the completeness of controls and do not always utilise the appropriate resources.
Take the Regulator with You
Regulators recognise that the current AFC regime places significant burdens on financial services firms. Whilst some regulators are understandably wary of moves to new, untested technology, our experience is that they will encourage firms to develop new approaches so long as they can be satisfied that the right ‘outcomes’ will still be delivered.

New Link Consulting is perfectly placed to be the partner of choice for non-financial risk management services.

Our practitioners have had extensive experience gained in banks and other financial institutions; we know the industry inside out.

We are an entrepreneurial consultancy, with a flexible, solution-led approach, which brings measurable results on time and within budget. With New Link Consulting as your partner, you will benefit from the collective experience and know-how of some of the financial services industry’s brightest minds, working to find effective solutions to some of the most complex challenges facing your organisation today.

Consulting services and practice centres of excellence

New Link Consulting has five core consulting Service Propositions across our Practice Centres of Excellence. Our knowledge, tools and techniques are shared between and across our practices and client segments to ensure that we achieve consistency in the quality of delivery across all of our service lines. Consultants are aligned across our practices, propositions and client segments, based upon their industry experience and subject matter expertise.


Anti-Financial Crime Focus Areas

New Link Consulting combines its practitioner-led consulting services with non-financial risk expertise to drive tangible business benefits.

New Link Consulting’s Non-Financial Risk Practice is driven by experienced, practitioner-led business consultants with the focus on risks arising from employee conduct, third-parties, technology, data, business processes, and controls. New Link Consulting advises its clients on the identification, assessment, modelling/measurement, monitoring and management of such risks.

By combining our expertise in the subject matter with exceptional change management skills, New Link Consulting can assist clients to deliver measurable results. We provide a collaborative partnership, where clients are central to our offering.



Established in 2011, our practitioner-led service offering combines deep industry knowledge, gained through years of direct experience, with innovative change management skills.

Claire Lincoln-White


Managing Partner

Peter Brooke
Practice Lead Anti-Financial Crime & Non-Financial Risk