Celebrating 175 years of Data Quality and Innovation

I’ve always been naturally curious and it’s what makes me a true data geek.

I have been with Accuity for 14 years and have grown my career within our data team. Data has kept me enthused, engaged, and challenged throughout my tenure, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon!

I lead the Bankers Almanac Know Your Customer (KYC) data team. Bankers Almanac is unique in that it has a rich legacy of 175 years of innovation. In my time at Accuity I’ve seen Bankers Almanac go from a hard copy as the beloved “orange book,” to completely digital, all while taking our customer base along on the journey. Bankers Almanac has stood the test of time, and it is quite a special feeling that my team and I have provided data for such a long-valued product.

The KYC data we gather is always evolving, and our Bankers Almanac solution is driven to evolve with it. It is this constant evolution that feeds my curiosity and excitement around our data.

For instance, the Fourth and Fifth EU Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Directives require increased knowledge of counterparties’ Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) structure. Our existing and potential clients must meet these new regulatory requirements, resulting in demand for a new solution. This drives our team to increase our coverage by collecting new data points that clearly show these ownership relationships and their potential risk.

Gathering these new data points can be difficult, but our team of Subject Matter Expert (SME) Data Analysts are always up to the challenge. Their passion and dedication to their work is inspiring, as they search for the high-quality data that powers Bankers Almanac.

Data Quality Defined

One of the biggest concerns for our team is data quality. It is defined by the right combination of accuracy, freshness, completeness, and transparency.

  • Data must be accurate. Our clients use our KYC data to make decisions that have a significant impact on their business. The data we collect helps our clients determine if they can legally conduct business with a counterparty, and if a relationship holds any potential risk. As such our team feels an immense responsibility to provide accurate data. Our Data Analysts proactively liase and build relationships with our data providers to gather this information directly from the source. We are dedicated to obtaining data that meets high standards and will re-engage with our contacts to ensure that every document and data point is standardised and up to par.
  • Data must be fresh. Our data is updated on a cyclical and event-driven basis to ensure that customers receive the most up-to-date information. Our Data Analysts are also SMEs in their field and monitor recent regulatory changes to ensure timely updates.
  • Data must be complete. With a unique knowledge and understanding of the data, our Data Analysts also enhance it to aide our customers in their Due Diligence processes to better assess the risk of a potential customer. Additionally, the team actively collaborates with the Bankers Almanac product team to share customer insights to ensure the data is fit for purpose.
  • Operating with full transparency. Our collection methodologies are detailed within our Bankers Almanac solution and information on each data point includes the dates of updates and Quality Control checks. Our customers can see how we collect the data and have confidence in our process.

Data and Collaboration Fuel Innovation

As I mentioned earlier, what makes the Accuity approach to data truly unique is our team of SME Data Analysts. I feel the KYC data team truly embodies the Accuity value of Collaboration and Connectivity, both with our customers and other Accuity teams. A great example of this was the creation of the Bankers Almanac: UBO solution.

Launched in 2016, I was a part of the project that determined we could collect the detailed ownership data that powers the solution, and it’s very near and dear to my heart!

We solved a big problem for our customers by providing powerful enhancements to our data that they needed to comply with regulations, such as the Fourth and Fifth EU AML directives, such as detailed UBO information that is essential for our customer’s Due Diligence checks. This allowed them to comply with regulations by identifying down to 0.1% of ownership for their counterparties.

We also collaborated with the product team to create a visualisation that truly shows the depth and breadth of the information in the UBO module. This feature visually maps the direct and indirect ownership relationships and allows our clients to easily identify the risks in those relationships as well.

This project culminated with a sense of collective achievement and is a great example of why I love working at Accuity. Together, we created an innovative solution and solved a huge problem for our clients.

A Trusted Partner: Past, Present and Future

As Bankers Almanac celebrates its 175th anniversary this year, it is important to reflect upon our impact. Bankers Almanac has been a trusted partner, guiding our customers through technological and regulatory changes.

Our commitment to our customers has always been the same: It was not so long ago that the multiple volumes of orange books became an online resource alongside the digital revolution, or long ago that the UBO solution was launched to better support our customers’ compliance needs.

The passion and dedication of the Bankers Almanac team will be there to support our longstanding trusted relationships with our clients. I think one particular quote from a client describes this passion very well, “…if you cut an Accuity employee who works on Bankers Almanac, they’d probably bleed orange”… and some of our longstanding customers might also.

Celebrating 175 years of Bankers Almanac – find out more here.