Our first post described adverse media screening, the process of searching for negative news about a person or business to support a financial firm’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) processes. It can be useful and effective, but all too often silos, lack of coordination and lack of defined strategies make the process inefficient and even risky.

But the promise of adverse media screening is significant. It can yield immediate opportunities to realize AML process efficiencies, reduce cost and improve risk mitigation.

How can financial firms use adverse media screening for gain, while avoiding inefficiencies and risk? In general, eliminating siloes across the business can lead to efficiency gains, reducing duplicative screenings and potentially consolidating work among vendors. In addition:

  • A defined screening strategy can create standards around who to search, and how often.
  • A cohesive screening process, that extends to all teams throughout an enterprise involved in screening activities, can support the review and decision process, for greater consistency around which findings are escalated for deeper review.
  • Coordination across lines of business can deliver consistent screening parameters.
  • A solid, defined process can clarify the most pertinent sources to use, and the right approach for identifying matches.
  • Consistent escalation of positive matches can stabilize the approach around client exits.
  • Automation, across the entire process, can result in a more unified, efficient approach across the organization.

Accenture can help clients working toward a more efficient adverse screening process.  Our Financial Crime and AML group includes an integrated global network of deeply skilled professionals that tap our proven methodology and extensive experience in AML/KYC remediation and transformation across the banking industry.

These Accenture KYC and AML services help our clients with their KYC/AML efforts overall, as well as adverse media screening:

  • KYC and AML strategy experience: Our effective KYC, AML and supporting strategies can help realize desired business outcomes.
  • Development of effective CoEs: Our Center of Excellence (CoE) models can support elements of adverse media screening.
  • Integration services across business functions: Our experience and support in integrating systems and analytics across business lines can be key to delivering effective AML strategy.
  • Automation and value-add technology: Going beyond simple identification of efficiencies, our teams can deliver continuous improvement of end-to-end processes and identify opportunities to integrate emerging technologies, such as Robotic Process Automation.1

Adverse media searches are a staple within the industry, but firms may be missing an opportunity to leverage this process step and deliver real business value. Our strategy, knowledge and experience can help firms develop a better approach for adapting KYC and AML to the challenges—and opportunities—of the exponential growth in data.

Contributors: Heather Adams, Christian Buckson

2018 Update: Read our new blog post on defining an adverse media screening strategy.


  1. Operational Transformation of Anti-Money Laundering Through Robotic Process Automation, Accenture, September 2017. Access at: https://www.accenture.com/_acnmedia/PDF-61/Accenture-Operational-Transformation-Anti-Money-Laundering-Robotic-Process-Automation.pdf

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