case study

Unit21 and Stout: Pioneering Efficient Compliance in Banking



Stout, a leading advisory firm, provides a broad spectrum of financial services to its clients. They specialize in offering strategic guidance and solutions to businesses across various sectors, particularly in the realm of disputes and investigations.

Stout's mission is to deliver comprehensive solutions that enable financial institutions (FIs) to meet their legal obligations and successfully navigate complex challenges.

The Challenge

In the highly-regulated financial world, responding to examinations can be a daunting task for banks, especially when they necessitate a meticulous review of past transactions for unreported potentially suspicious activity.

A regional bank found itself grappling with this challenge, burdened by an existing system that couldn't align with its risk appetite.

Facing a regulatory-mandated one-time look-back project, the bank sought the expertise of Stout, who recommended Unit21’s Transaction Monitoring solution as the ideal tool for the task.

The Results

Leveraging Unit21’s infrastructure and excellent customer service team, the regional bank was able to efficiently analyze transaction results and align their transaction monitoring system with their risk preferences.

When asked about the expected length of the project, a Stout team member noted that they had originally estimated the project to take about three months to conclude. However, the actual look-back was completed in under two months.

On top of that, when asked about how long the project would have taken with the bank’s previous solution, the Stout representative stated, “For the other solution that the bank was using at the time, they were taking two to three weeks to even get us responses and data updates. The amount of time it would've taken to do the project with that system wasn't even an option for us.”

"The amount of time it would've taken to do the project with that system wasn't even an option for us.”

Within a mere 20 days, Unit21 was fully operational, generating alerts and enabling the bank to proactively detect and address suspicious activity. The bank completed the one-time lookback project within six weeks, a testament to the efficiency and effectiveness of the system.

The Process

Stout and Unit21 worked in close collaboration, holding daily meetings to ensure a smooth transition.

Stout, working closely with Unit21’s customer success team, tailored the Transaction Monitoring and Case Management to align with the bank’s diverse systems and risk preferences.

Stout acknowledges that achieving such a demanding deadline would have been impossible without the support of Unit21’s customer success team, praising their “response time [which] made it easy to configure and use the solution.”

Unit21’s standout feature was its remarkable ease of use, evident during the initial setup where the infrastructure seamlessly integrated with a wide range of systems. By leveraging Unit21’s Rapid Ingestor, the bank was able to import flat files effortlessly, completing the data analysis in just 4 days.

This allowed the bank to quickly leverage Unit21’s capabilities, with the system up and running in just 20 days, generating live alerts and enabling the bank to proactively detect suspicious activity. As one user noted, they could “easily run data through the system to get more useful alerts.”

The Metrics

By utilizing Unit21’s Rapid Ingestor, the estimated 12-week project was completed in just 6 weeks, resulting in an impressive 20% cost savings due to the substantial time efficiency gained.

The Improvement

Stout had a clear vision for leveraging Unit21’s Transaction Monitoring solution. Their strategic decision to adopt more direct and validated rules proved to be a game changer.

Rules were validated in Unit21’s sandbox environment, and through multiple iterations the team fine-tuned thresholds and explored additional rule ideas. No engineering resources were required during the customization process.

By comparing current data sets against the alerts generated by Unit21’s rules, they made specific adjustments that resulted in the most meaningful and relevant alerts.

This led to a 20% reduction of alert volume, with 40% of these alerts confirmed as true positives. Given its effectiveness, the bank retained Unit21’s Transaction Monitoring solution for their suspicious activity reporting requirements after the project was finished.

Uniting Forces to Support a Regional Bank: Final Thoughts

Unit21’s collaboration with Stout was instrumental in completing the regulatory-mandated look-back project for the bank in a remarkably shorter time frame.

With Unit21’s efficient processing of vast historical data and Stout’s subject matter expertise of customizing Transaction Monitoring systems to efficiently detect potentially suspicious activity, the bank successfully met the regulator’s requirement and showcased its dedication to proactive risk management and strict compliance standards.

This achievement further solidified the strong partnership between Unit21 and Stout, and they are now poised to replicate this success with another financial institution.

“Unit21 is a very user-friendly and very easily configurable solution that will get you the output that you need. The customer success and partnership teams were incredibly helpful and very easy to work with. On top of that, the solution does what it is intended to do.”

"Unit21 is a very user-friendly and very easily configurable solution that will get you the output that you need."

If you are interested in learning more about how to achieve similar results, please reach out to Unit21 to schedule a demo.

For additional information about Stout’s Regulatory Compliance and Financial Crimes practice, click here.

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