18Apr

Funds Transfer Risk

Manage Funds Transfer Exposures and Fraud

Your financial institution clients have significant risk exposure when conducting funds transfers. Criminals prefer easy methods to conduct fraud that moves money quickly and makes it difficult to get back. The following outlines some basic controls that your FI clients can use for reducing risk and implementing best practices to manage funds transfer exposures and fraud.

Risk Factors

Funds transfers represent heightened degrees of risk depending on frequency of requests, dollar amount, geographic risk considerations of the originator and beneficiaries, and relationship of the originator or beneficiary to the financial institution. Potential fraud may be identified through transaction profiling of accounts and historical activity or through methods of communication used to initiate a transfer request.

Risk Management

The most important part of any risk management program is to have documented policies and procedures. Many financial institutions develop easy-to-follow flow charts, which help to identify important steps and questions to ask. Policies should make clear that no funds are transferred for non-accountholders and should not be processed against uncollected and settled funds. These two items can be easily incorporated into a flow chart.

Policies should also outline dual control through segregation of duties so that no single individual can execute a transfer from beginning to end. All acceptance and authentication of transfer requests should be separated from the processing and approval of the requested transaction. In smaller institutions, where segregation is not always practical, controls should be used to ensure proper checks and balances, and to provide a second review removed from the transaction. Accountholders that have never transferred from a line of credit or conducted internal or large-dollar transfers should raise additional concerns, and policy should require elevation through levels of management.

Establishing limits on transfer authority should also be a part of any policy. Limitations on who can initiate a transfer and to what limit ensures that dual control mechanisms are being utilized. At least annually, a review of all individuals should be conducted to ensure administrative restrictions are in place within systems, approval limits are reviewed and affirmed, and that those users with permissions have a logical purpose for that authority.

Providing service to accountholders is often manipulated by fraudsters in perpetrating a scam, causing erosion of established controls. Methods such as fax, phone and internet banking or e-mail are common, and advancing technological capabilities are introducing additional methods. Regardless of the method accepted by the financial institution, each should be assessed for risks and such a review should be a foundation for establishing controls. Each method may involve a different set of controls.  It may be in the interest of the accountholder and the financial institution to establish a separate funds transfer agreement, especially in situations of frequent transfer activity.

Please click here for a printable Funds Transfer Risk loss control sheet and click here for information on all our products.

Make Sure Your Financial Institution Clients Have the Right Coverage to Manage Their Funds Transfer Risk

Contact any one of the FI insurance experts below for help in making sure your FI customers have the right coverage from a strong, stable company!

VP Sales and Distribution
Jon Martin 410-372-6325
   Midwest Region
   Contact: Jon Martin 410-372-6325
Northeast Region
Jeanne Shrum 207-415-4587
   West Region
   Scott Harris 512-800-5393
Mid-Atlantic/South Regions
Dave Cassel 443-987-8619
   Northwest Region
   Pete Verretto 206-802-3076

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Products and services are provided by one or more insurance company subsidiaries of W. R. Berkley Corporation. Not all products and services are available in every jurisdiction, and the precise coverage afforded by any insurer is subject to the actual terms and conditions of the policies as issued. Certain coverages may be provided through surplus lines insurance company subsidiaries of W. R. Berkley Corporation through licensed surplus lines brokers. Surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state guaranty funds and insureds are therefore not protected by such funds.

For additional information concerning W.R. Berkley Corporation’s insurance company subsidiaries, please visit: http://wrbc.info/Licensing/License.htm