'Digital intelligence' helps to meet challenge of Senior Manager regime

13 April 2018

A new ‘digital intelligence' service is helping banks and financial institutions to meet the challenges of the new Senior Manager regime.

The service from London-based tech company Neotas provides a way for employers to evidence that their Senior Managers satisfy the FCA criteria of ‘honesty, integrity and reputation' to ensure they are a ‘fit and proper person' for the job.

Under the FCA rules, financial institutions appointing a Senior Manager (SM) and other certified roles must evidence the candidate's competence and credibility; financial soundness; and honesty, integrity and reputation.

The Neotas service analyses digital trails to reveal an individual's true character, behaviour and networks. The technology platform, which is carried out by expert analysts with the individual's consent, uses Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) sources from social media, the deep web and dark web alongside numerous other online sources to highlight potential risks to clients.

Ian Howard of Neotas says: "While competence, credibility and financial soundness can be determined by traditional background checks, providing evidence of honesty, integrity and reputation is much more difficult. The rules require organisations to consider all relevant matters and take all reasonable steps.

"Neotas reviews all available sources to ensure financial organisations are fulfilling their obligations under the SM regime and give them peace of mind."

The Neotas service can highlight risk factors such as threatening, derogatory or explicit content, extreme views or opinions, involvement in illegal activities as well as any questionable relationships or connected parties and potential conflict of interest which standard background checks may fail to uncover. In one case, for example, it revealed evidence of drug use and abusive behaviour by an SM who had already passed standard recruitment checks.

Ian Howard adds: "In the digital era, there is a wealth of information available that can help protect organisations from threats posed by their senior managers. The Neotas service brings compliance into the modern age to ensure banks and others in the financial services sector meet the challenges of the new regulatory landscape."

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