AML– Know your Customer – Address Country Analysis

One of the key data elements for KYC (Know Your Customer) information is knowing the ‘country of address’ of a customer since customer country is a significant aspect of an organisation’s AML risk assessment for which countries an organisation transacts its business.

Most customer databases have attributes to record customer address and to record the customer’s country of address. However, particularly with legacy customer systems and where an organisation’s customer base is primarily within the organisation’s home country, while an address may be present for each customer, no specific country value is held. Either the country attribute is blank, or the country attribute may simply be defaulted to the home country, relying on the assumption that the address is within the organisation’s main operating country.

When reviewing legacy customer data of local retail banks, we often find either no specific country is identified, or every customer country is simply set as UK, which may have been applied as a default value when first creating the customer record. The address information is present, but it is not readily determined whether all the addresses are in the home country or whether some addresses may be abroad and may require a different risk assessment based on location.

The question is how to identify any foreign addresses within the database and to provide a report whereby those customer records can be reviewed. The SQA Data Profiler provides the answer for this.

SQA Data Profiler – Address Country Analysis

The SQA Data Profiler uses SQA consulting’s gazetteer of some 7 Million place names from locations around the world to analyse addresses and determine the likely country for an address.

In the below example of the Data Profiler’s address analysis, we see a report of the number of records for each country. We see for example over half the addresses in the profiled file have addresses in the UK, but 4% have addresses in Nigeria, 3% in South Africa etc.

It is important to understand here that even where the address data may not have included the country value within the address, the Data profiler that has derived the likely country from the address elements such as city or regional information.

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During reporting, we can filter out specific country addresses, for an Irish bank, for example, to perhaps exclude any customers whose address indicates an address in Eire or in the UK. Thereby we can produce a report of those customers whose address is in another country, enabling the organisation to review the KYC and risk rating information for those customers with an address abroad.

If you would like to learn more about how SQA Consulting can assist with your KYC needs, please contact us.

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