Published: 22 November 2016

Surrey CS PhD student Mr Nicholas Ryman-Tubb at Sibos 2016

Mr Nicholas Ryman-Tubb, a recently graduated PhD student of the Department of Computer Science, was an invited speaker for a panel discussion on “Machine Learning – the future of compliance”, sponsored by SWIFT and taking place in Geneva as part of Sibos 2016.

Addressing to an audience of over 100 attendees, Nick focused on how machine learning must play an increasingly important part in allowing financial institutions to ensure that financial transactions that could be billions of dollars each are on behalf of legitimate parties. He explained that terrorists and criminals continue to abuse systems and the law by laundering money and evading tax. He pointed out that deep learning and automated knowledge extraction are important enabling technologies. These technologies are a key part of the Department of Computer Science’s research strategy and its collaboration with FITS (the Institute of Financial Innovations in Transactions and Security). A co-panelist, Anthony Fenwick, Citi Bank’s Global Head of Aniti-Money Laundering, agreed that focused machine learning technologies are needed to reduce false-positives, to reduce their large costs for manual review and to reduce crime.  The panel discussed “what kept banking compliance people up at night” and how institutions can collaborate, share data and develop their own shared big data and neural network tools.  It was agreed that the FITS, co-founded by Nick and his PhD supervisor Prof Paul Krause would be an approach to helping the compliance industry fully leverage the potential benefits of leading research in this area. Following the hour-long panel session, Nick met over 20 delegates and gave two TV interviews, including one for the Financial Times. There was key interest in machine learning tools and cognitive neurocomputing being able to explain their decisions, to open the “black box”.  The audience confirmed that they will need help on making the decisions on what and how to deploy new technologies and tools. They also expressed concerns that they cannot easily work directly with researchers or innovative start-up vendors. FITS as a not-for-profit, independent institute working on behalf of its members, is able to bridge this gap.


Since 1978, Sibos is the world’s premier financial services event with over 10,000 financial institutions from 212 countries attending, with hundreds of speakers and conference sessions, nearly 200 exhibitors and multiple networking events many of which have been looking at machine learning and computational intelligence approaches and tool that can collectively help shape the future of the financial industry.

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