Every financial transaction your business handles could be used to fund terrorists, human traffickers, and related criminals. That’s why regulations require that companies screen their financial transactions to avoid doing business with individuals, businesses, and other entities that have been sanctioned. This article describes the best practices for sanctions screening.

Developing your sanctions compliance program (SCP)

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) published A Framework of OFAC Compliance Commitments to help companies learn how to comply with sanctions laws. This document outlines sanctions screening best practices. In particular, it urges companies to employ a risk-based approach to sanctions compliance by developing, implementing, and routinely updating a sanctions compliance program (SCP). It identifies five key areas:

  • Management commitment: The success of the sanctions compliance program hinges on receiving full support from senior management.
  • Risk assessment: Conduct risk assessments to identify potential OFAC issues you might encounter.
  • Internal controls: Develop processes that ensure compliance and directly reduce the risks identified in the risk assessment.
  • Testing and auditing: Assess the effectiveness of current processes and fine-tune them as needed.
  • Training: Ensure all affected employees receive proper training on the policies and procedures to ensure compliance.

The internal controls are the heart of your sanctions compliance program. This includes both the processes for ensuring compliance and the sanctions screening solution itself.

Choosing a sanctions screening solution

Sanctions lists enable business to avoid doing business with criminals. But sanctions lists are created by different issuing bodies, and they can have discrepancies. Furthermore, the definition of sanctions continues to grow and can be open to interpretation.

Because of the ever-changing landscape of sanctions lists, you can’t have an adequate SCP without good screening software. Thankfully, Beam Watchlists does all the heavy lifting for you. It screens every transaction against a comprehensive set of sanctions and other watchlists. As a result, you meet your regulatory obligations and protect your company.

Best of all, Beam drastically reduces false positives. And when Beam does send cases to your analysts, it provides contextual information that allows them to clear the cases quickly and efficiently.

Request a demo to see how Beam Watchlists can help you meet your regulatory obligations.