Risk Reduction Exposed: The Power of Compliance Strategies in Sanction Screening

Minimizing risk has become a question for all kinds of financial institutions (FIs) and MLROs in today’s complex financial and geopolitical environment. For countries to abide by UN Security Council resolutions regarding the prevention and defeat of terrorism, FATF Recommendation 6 mandates that they impose targeted financial sanctions. To strengthen against risk, the use of sanctions lists and sanction screening technologies has grown in significance over time. Companies and financial institutions must make sure that the penalty requirements are strictly followed, especially in light of the range of fraudulent acts that have been documented throughout history.  According to these resolutions, nations must freeze money and keep assets from being accessible to groups designated by the Security Council or other supranational authorities. 

To provide an in-depth analysis of this core problem i.e, minimizing risks through the power of tools like sanction screening, thorough research has been conducted in the blog. An analysis of the study on “Compliance Strategies to Reduce the Risk of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing”  conducted at Walden University has been discussed in the blog to develop a sense of understanding to fight the evils of ML(money laundering) and TF (terrorism financing). Stay with AML Watcher, to have an educational and research-driven grip on this core problem of risk management through solutions like sanction screening. 


The study examines the compliance practices of the ‘Bahamian banks’ and ‘trust companies’, with a particular emphasis on AML and CFT (countering financing of terrorism) regulations. The report highlights the changing difficulties these institutions face and has its roots in the late 1980s formation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The study sheds light on the cruciality of staff training, onboarding of the clients, customer due diligence, risk rating, technological system sufficiency, and continuous monitoring in accomplishing successful compliance strategies by conducting in-depth interviews with seven participants from four financial institutions.


This study aims to explore the consequences attached to inefficient and ineffective compliance programs, understanding the strategies and procedures that must be employed by MLROs (risk managers) to fight the risks related to ML and CTF.  additionally,  institutions are exposed to risk and economic repercussions, driven by the necessity that Bahamian banking and trust operations handle money laundering threats under AML/CFT legislation. The research also focuses on the reputation of organizations, entities, and individuals to bring a positive impact on the financial sector to eradicate unemployment to boost economic stability. 

The methodology of the research is the primary qualitative approach. Seven participants were interviewed which was conducted by the four Bahamian Financial Institutions. The study’s main focus lies in the explorative nature of developing successful strategies for compliance.

The research question of the research study is: “What compliance strategies do Bahamian bank and trust company managers use to reduce the risk of ML/CTF activities?” 

Findings and Discussions

The study shows that participants use a variety of compliance strategies. Staff training, client onboarding procedures, customer due diligence, risk rating, technological system sufficiency, and continuous monitoring are all important aspects of compliance. Moreover, the implementation of robust compliance strategies, providing efficient employee training, and creating helpful automated (IT) systems are the main operational concerns. Other than the study analysis, it is important to notice one thing overall measures should be enhanced in sanction screening through the ongoing monitoring of sanctions lists and watchlists by the incorporation of automated sanction list screening solutions to mitigate the risk roots out of the crime trees. 


The study emphasizes, in the contemporary era, how economic crimes and money laundering have a detrimental effect on the whole world’s economy especially the third-world countries (developing nations). It advises managers to concentrate on complete AML/CFT strategy formulation, enterprise-wide risk assessment, efficient adoption of IT systems, and sufficient resources, including personnel with training. 

Key Takeaways Regarding Sanctions 

  • Potential fines and penalties for banks and trust businesses as a result of breaking AML/CFT regulations and suffering financial losses.
  • Financial organizations are especially vulnerable to penalties for complacency, as they face penalties for engaging in money laundering activities.
  • Virtual spaces, with their anonymity and low chance of detection, are seen by managers as beneficial to ML/TF.
  • This study looks at internal rules related to responding to international sanctions violations, ML/TF prevention, and client risk assessments.
  • Good programs increase the Bahamas’ GDP and job market by improving viability, reputation, earnings, and shareholder value.
  • Businesses employ compliance techniques to stop ML/TF, avoiding fines from regulators and protecting their brand and that of the Bahamian financial center.


The study concludes that compliance plays an integral role in minimizing exposure to TF and ML risks, in the control function of financial institutions in the Bahamas. Handling different hazards entails extensive procedures and guidelines. Programs and regulations that are strong are used to manage the burden of compliance. Compliance programs must be reviewed and adjusted regularly to stay up to date with changing threats. To direct future research and support constructive social change, investments in vigilance, information technology systems, and training are important. Overall, it has been found through in-depth analysis that robust systems like sanction screening, and watchlist screening are pivotal to achieving the desired outcome of compliance.

Stay in touch with AML Watcher to learn more about risk management, risk aversion, and risk reduction methodologies by incorporating solutions like sanction screening.