I have been with PwC for almost 4 years now, which I think speaks for itself. I studied law at university and after a short stint as a paralegal at a large law firm I decided that wasn’t for me and applied to work at PwC after meeting a few members of my future team at a networking event. What struck me immediately was the personalities of these people who were really outgoing, welcoming and down-to-earth.
I joined the then “financial services” team which no longer exists (I’m starting to feel old) and I now work for the “financial crime” team under the newly launched PwC Operate.
I made it clear before joining that I was keen to travel and within a couple of months I was sent on my first project on client site - a transaction monitoring project for 6 months in New York. This was an amazing experience and a great insight into the financial services/Anti-Money Laundering world. This involved assessing client transactions which had flagged up on the Bank’s systems due to risk factors such as location, amount, or an unclear rationale for the transaction, and building a profile for the client and making an assessment as to whether or not a Suspicious Activity Report was required. The work was tough but rewarding, and although I was new to the team and away from home, I never felt that I wasn’t supported. Working in New York was also a bonus.
Since then I have largely specialised in Anti-Money Laundering work, particularly in “Know Your Customer” project for global financial institutions. I have worked on projects in London and Birmingham but most recently I have been based in the PwC office in Belfast. KYC is the requirement for financial institutions to understand who their clients are, where their funds come from and where they are heading. The purpose of KYC is to ensure that the financial institution is not used by criminals directly or indirectly to facilitate Money Laundering (hiding the fact that the funds originated from criminal activity) or Terrorist Financing (hiding the fact that the funds are being sent to support criminal activity) – a context that makes my work pretty interesting.
I spent a 10 month stint in Birmingham on client site, starting as an analyst on a KYC project and working up to the role as a QC (quality control). Since then I have worked on further projects as QC, Lead QC and Team Leader, and now work as an SME (Subject Matter Expert) on PwC Belfast’s largest KYC project so far. I say so far because our work shows no signs of slowing down and the team continues to grow at an amazing pace.
As an SME it is my job to have a deep understanding of the client’s KYC policy and also the regulatory framework that dictates this. I am the go-to person on the team for the QC’s and the Analysts for the day-to- day policy questions they may have when performing their respective roles.