AI fights money laundering at Japanese regional bank

A regional bank in Japan is turning to artificial intelligence in its fight against money laundering.

The Bank of Yokohama rolled out its AI system in June.
It was developed in cooperation with a computer-system development company.

To enhance its detection accuracy, the AI has to learn 3,000 patterns that indicate suspicious transactions. One such characteristic is large amounts of cash moved in a single transaction.

Banks are required to report suspicious activity to the authorities. The Bank of Yokohama says its reports have nearly doubled since the system was introduced.

Mitsuyasu Atsushi, the head of the bank's section in charge of fighting financial crimes, says he hopes the AI will make his team's job more efficient and reliable.

He says, "We deal with lots of transactions every day. It's extremely difficult to sift through all of them to find the suspect ones."

The Financial Action Task Force, a global money laundering watchdog, said last year that Japan's regional banks need to improve their monitoring.