AML Case Investigation Performance Improvement

Anti-Money Laundering Investigation Diagnostic and Future State Optimization Strategy

The Challenge

A leading Canadian Financial Institution (FI) performs investigations into potential Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Terrorist Financing (TF) concerns daily for all their clients.


Without optimizing their Operational Strategy, this FI was only able to process around 0.8 cases/day/investigator, which meant they were constantly struggling to stay out of a backlog scenario. The slow processing time also put this FI at risk to potential penalties and/or fines from FINTRAC (The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada).


The FI engaged the Carly Rian Group (CRG) to assess the current state AML investigation process and develop solutions to improve the operational output by at least 15%, while also addressing any other major pain points encountered.

The Approach

  • Conducted interviews and workshops across 50+ SMEs throughout the entire AML organization (Administration, Triage, AML Investigations, High Risk/Enhanced Due Diligence, STR Filing, and Quality Assurance)
  • Developed a list of 70+ improvement opportunities throughout different categories (Operating Model, Technology, Investigation Depth and Analysis) improving the operational efficiency of the organization
  • Worked closely with the client’s Data Team to perform queries and time studies to quantify waste associated with the improvement opportunities
  • Using the Pareto principal, CRG selected 16 key improvement opportunities to implement to improve operational output from both a short-term tactical and long-term strategic perspective

The Outcome

  • Improved productivity by 24% within the first 2 months of implementation
  • Removed waste and non-value-added time from High Risk/Enhanced Due Diligence processes through the implementation of key Lean Six Sigma based recommendations
  • Enriched qualitative aspects of the organization’s operations such as culture, career progression, information sharing, and teamwork through the development and implementation of long-term strategies aimed at increasing output as well as employee satisfaction

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