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MF Global is a leading intermediary offering customised solutions in global cash, derivatives and related markets.
It provides execution and clearing services for exchange-traded and over-the-counter derivative products as well as for non-derivative foreign exchange products and securities in the cash market.
MF Global is uniquely diversified across products, trading markets, customers and regions. Its worldwide client base includes financial institutions, industrial groups, hedge funds and other asset managers as well as professional traders and private/retail clients.
MF Global operates in 12 countries on more than 70 exchanges, providing access to some of the largest and fastest growing financial markets in the world and is the leader by volume on many of these markets.
With professional traders and individual investors increasingly trading online 24/7 in each of the markets they operate, a key part of MF Global’s strategy was to speed up the time it took to acquire new customers.
MF Global in the UK needed a client onboarding system for its retail business to enhance its existing process that would allow it to make speedier decisions about new customers, boarding new clients quickly while reducing the cost of acquiring those customers. Crucially, the system needed to have the flexibility to integrate seamlessly with MF Global’s existing CIS (Customer Information System) CRM system.
In addition, operating in an increasingly regulated environment with stringent compliance regulations requires a consistent Know Your Customer (KYC) policy that protects the business against ID fraud, reduces manual decisioning and enables MF Global to take on new customers according to their risk profile.
Finally, the solution needed to continually exceed customers’ expectations by making the right customer decision quickly, reducing the cost of acquiring new customers without affecting the customer experience and time to decision.
Experian had already been working with MF Global providing e-series business credit and risk reports, international reports and Companies House information.
Tasked with this new challenge, Experian created an integrated client onboarding solution based around its Transact Strategy Manager application processing and decisioning software tool. Sitting alongside the CIS system, Transact SM draws on Experian’s UK consumer and commercial credit bureau data and so allows MF Global to receive, validate and process online applications from new clients promptly and also apply preset policy rules and customer acquisition strategies to drive appropriate trading decisions.
The client onboarding system also calls on Experian’s Bank Wizard suite of products to validate bank account details and specifically conduct Bank Identifier Code (BIC) and International Bank Account Number (IBAN) checks. Meanwhile Authenticate Plus uses independent data sources to electronically verify that an individual’s identity and address is correct – ensuring that the person MF Global is dealing with is who they say they are, ensuring KYC compliance and helping to combat ID fraud.
Experian’s client at MF Global is Sharon Heath, Associate Director of Compliance, Strategic Planning and Business Alignment. She heads up a 27-strong documentation team responsible for ensuring MF Global’s business activities also meet its compliance obligations.
Commenting on the project she said: “A major driver for this project was to enhance our client take on procedures to ensure satisfaction during the initial process by getting customers onboard quickly and at a reduced cost.
“From taking a minimum of 24 hours for the client take on process to be completed, we’ve moved to a situation where we have instant account opening decisions, and a process that is automated and available online 24/7.”
With its consistent decisioning Transact SM ensures that applications are handled fairly and consistently and that there is objectivity in the decision making process.
Adds Sharon: “In terms of our usage, Transact SM is highly flexible allowing us to change our policies and parameters in line with Management decisions and Regulatory requirements without the need to revert to a third party to do this for us. Additionally, we have flexibility to enhance the results we hold on file ensuring we highlight aspects of a client profile that are important to our decision making process and enabling us to make more informed decisions about our client profiles. The support given to me and my team in getting the project implemented has been fantastic. Our Experian contacts are, without exception, highly proactive, offering effective support and advice at every stage, from inception right through to training”.
Associate Director of Compliance, Strategic Planning and Business Alignment