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UK report says banks could share money-laundering checks on customers

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UK report says banks could share money-laundering checks on customers

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LONDON (Reuters) - Shared digital platforms for banks to make anti-money laundering checks on customers could save money and boost Britain's fintech sector, a report from TheCityUK and Deloitte said on Thursday.

The report was commissioned by the Financial Services Trade and Investment Board (FSTIB), a joint industry and government body set up in 2013 to strengthen Britain's role as a global financial centre.

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"By developing new shared digital platforms, the industry could reduce costs, increase regulatory efficiency, and improve customer experience," said Miles Celic, chief executive of TheCityUK, which promotes Britain's financial services sector.

The report recommended further work on how "digital utilities" could be used by financial firms to make "know your customer" checks to prevent money laundering, and to report data to regulators.

It gave no figures on potential cost savings.

"Many of these challenges are best met with a collective response – working together with regulators to find common solutions which benefit everyone, while keeping costs down," said Nathan Bostock, chief executive of Santander UK bank and chair of the FSTIB's fintech working group.

Shared platforms are the next frontier in financial services and would need backing from the government and regulators to allow for the sharing of data, the report said.

But any shared platform must provide benefits to backers and consumers without undermining competition in the sector, the report added.

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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