Definition: Outsourced service providers (OSPs) in the context of anti-money laundering (AML) refer to external entities or organizations that are engaged by regulated businesses to perform AML compliance functions and activities on their behalf.

Outsourced service providers play a crucial role in supporting regulated businesses in meeting their AML compliance obligations. They offer specialized expertise and resources, allowing businesses to enhance their AML processes while maintaining operational efficiency.

Historical View

The use of outsourced service providers in the AML field has evolved over time. Initially, businesses relied solely on in-house teams to handle their AML compliance. However, as AML regulations became more complex and demanding, businesses recognized the need for external support.

Outsourcing AML services began to gain traction in the 1990s as financial institutions faced increasing regulatory pressure to strengthen their AML efforts. This trend continued to grow as businesses sought to tap into the expertise of specialized AML service providers to navigate the intricate landscape of AML compliance.

Outsourced service providers have since become an integral part of the AML ecosystem, offering a range of services such as customer due diligence, transaction monitoring, and regulatory reporting. Their role has expanded to encompass emerging areas such as cryptocurrency compliance and cybersecurity.

Practical Examples

1. A bank engages an external firm to conduct enhanced due diligence checks on high-risk customers to ensure compliance with AML regulations.

2. An insurance company outsources its transaction monitoring activities to a specialized AML service provider to identify potential suspicious transactions.

3. A money services business (MSB) utilizes the services of an outsourced provider to perform regular AML risk assessments and assist with compliance reporting.

4. A real estate agency hires a third-party firm to conduct background checks on customers and verify the source of funds for high-value property transactions.

5. A virtual asset service provider (VASP) partners with an AML technology provider to enhance its AML compliance program and meet regulatory requirements in the cryptocurrency space.

6. An auditing firm contracts an external provider to conduct independent AML compliance audits to ensure adherence to regulatory standards.

7. A non-profit organization engages an AML consultancy to develop and implement robust AML policies and procedures in alignment with best practices.

8. A law firm outsources its AML training program to an external provider to educate employees on AML regulations and best practices.

9. A fintech startup collaborates with an outsourced service provider to establish an effective AML compliance framework from the ground up.

10. A casino engages an AML technology company to deploy advanced transaction monitoring systems and assist with suspicious activity reporting.


1. A survey conducted by Thomson Reuters found that 61% of financial institutions outsource at least part of their AML compliance activities.

2. The global market for AML outsourcing services is projected to reach $7.8 billion by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.7% from 2021 to 2026.

3. According to a study by LexisNexis Risk Solutions, 62% of organizations consider outsourcing AML functions to be cost-effective.

4. The AML compliance software and services segment accounted for the largest market share of the global AML outsourcing market in 2020, with a valuation of $2.4 billion.

5. A survey conducted by Deloitte revealed that 71% of respondents outsourced at least some aspects of their AML compliance programs, citing expertise and efficiency as key reasons.

6. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to witness the highest growth rate in the AML outsourcing market, driven by increasing regulatory scrutiny and the expansion of financial services.

7. The banking sector accounts for a significant share of AML outsourcing, with banks seeking specialized support in customer due diligence, transaction monitoring, and regulatory reporting.

8. The insurance industry has seen a rise in outsourcing AML functions, with insurers leveraging external expertise to navigate complex AML regulations and mitigate risks.

9. The rise of digital transformation has fueled the demand for AML outsourcing services, particularly in the fintech and cryptocurrency sectors, where expertise in emerging AML challenges is sought.

10. Compliance risk mitigation and cost savings are cited as the top two drivers for outsourcing AML functions, according to a survey by PwC.


1. The 2012 HSBC money laundering scandal highlighted the need for robust AML compliance measures and increased scrutiny on outsourced service providers. HSBC faced significant fines for deficiencies in monitoring transactions processed by its Mexican unit.

2. The 2014 Standard Chartered case revealed weaknesses in outsourced AML compliance, as the bank failed to adequately monitor transactions involving high-risk customers in its New York branch.

3. The 2018 Danske Bank money laundering scandal shed light on the challenges of effectively outsourcing AML functions. Danske Bank’s Estonian branch had outsourced its customer due diligence processes to an external provider, but significant compliance failures were identified.

4. The 2020 Wirecard scandal exposed shortcomings in outsourced AML audits and raised questions about the reliability of financial information within the regulated sector. Wirecard’s outsourced auditors were criticized for failing to detect fraudulent activities.

5. The 2021 FinCEN Files leak revealed deficiencies in the AML efforts of financial institutions, including reliance on outsourced AML service providers. The leak emphasized the importance of robust oversight and due diligence when engaging external entities.

6. The 2016 Deutsche Bank case highlighted the potential risks of outsourcing AML functions without adequate oversight. The bank faced regulatory action and penalties due to deficiencies in its transaction monitoring, which involved outsourced service providers.

7. The 2017 Australian Commonwealth Bank money laundering scandal demonstrated the importance of effectively managing outsourced AML services. The bank was found to have relied on an outsourced transaction monitoring system with technical deficiencies, resulting in regulatory action.

8. The 2015 Commerzbank case underscored the need for comprehensive oversight and monitoring of outsourced AML functions. Commerzbank faced penalties for insufficient oversight of its outsourced transaction monitoring processes, leading to compliance failures.

9. The 2020 JPMorgan Chase case highlighted the challenges of monitoring outsourced AML operations. The bank faced regulatory action for deficiencies in its transaction monitoring system, which involved outsourced service providers.

10. The 2017 Barclays case emphasized the importance of due diligence when outsourcing AML functions. The bank faced regulatory penalties for inadequate systems and controls in its outsourced customer due diligence processes.

The Future

1. The future of outsourced service providers in the AML space is likely to be shaped by increasing regulatory expectations and technological advancements.

2. Regulators are expected to emphasize the need for robust oversight and due diligence when engaging outsourced AML service providers to ensure compliance and mitigate risks.

3. The integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies may enhance the capabilities of outsourced AML service providers, enabling more efficient and accurate detection of suspicious activities.

4. The expanding landscape of digital currencies and decentralized finance (DeFi) may present new challenges and opportunities for outsourced AML service providers as they adapt to the unique characteristics of these emerging sectors.

5. The demand for specialized AML expertise is anticipated to grow as businesses navigate evolving regulatory frameworks and emerging financial crime risks.

6. Outsourced service providers may increasingly offer tailored solutions for specific industries and sectors, such as fintech, virtual assets, and non-profit organizations, to address their unique AML compliance needs.

7. Collaboration and information sharing between regulated businesses, outsourced service providers, and regulatory authorities will play a pivotal role in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

8. The development of regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions may enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of outsourced AML services, facilitating seamless integration and automation of compliance processes.

9. Outsourced service providers may leverage advanced analytics and data-driven approaches to enhance their AML capabilities, enabling more proactive and targeted risk mitigation.

10. The future of outsourced service providers in AML will likely be characterized by ongoing adaptation to regulatory changes, advancements in technology, and the evolving landscape of financial crime risks.

Explore the Power of Kyros AML Data Suite


  • 1. Streamlines AML compliance processes, saving time and resources.
  • 2. Provides advanced data analytics to identify potential risks and suspicious activities.
  • 3. Enables real-time monitoring and alerts for timely detection of suspicious transactions.
  • 4. Offers comprehensive reporting capabilities to meet regulatory requirements.
  • 5. Facilitates integration with existing systems, enhancing operational efficiency.
  • 6. Ensures adherence to industry best practices and regulatory guidelines.
  • 7. Improves accuracy and reduces false positives through intelligent automation.
  • 8. Provides a centralized platform for managing AML compliance across multiple business units.
  • 9. Supports ongoing due diligence through continuous monitoring and customer risk profiling.
  • 10. Enhances overall compliance culture and reduces reputational risks for businesses.

Book a Demo today! Experience the power of Kyros AML Data Suite in strengthening your AML compliance program and safeguarding your business from financial crime risks. Visit to book a demo today!


In conclusion, outsourced service providers play a vital role in supporting regulated businesses in meeting their AML compliance obligations. By leveraging external expertise and resources, businesses can enhance their AML processes while maintaining operational efficiency. However, careful consideration should be given to due diligence, data security, oversight, and regulatory access to effectively manage the outsourced relationship and maintain control over AML operations.


Q: What are outsourced service providers in AML?

A: Outsourced service providers in AML refer to external entities or organizations engaged by regulated businesses to perform AML compliance functions on their behalf.

Q: What services do outsourced service providers offer in AML?

A: Outsourced service providers offer a range of services in AML, including customer due diligence, transaction monitoring, suspicious activity reporting, risk assessments, training, and compliance documentation.

Q: How can businesses ensure the effectiveness of outsourced AML services?

A: Businesses should conduct thorough due diligence on outsourced service providers, establish robust oversight mechanisms, maintain access to necessary information and reports, and monitor the quality of outsourced services to ensure compliance and mitigate risks.

Q: What are the benefits of outsourcing AML services?

A: Outsourcing AML services offers benefits such as specialized expertise, cost efficiency, scalability, enhanced efficiency, access to advanced technology, and risk mitigation.

Q: How can Kyros AML Data Suite support businesses in their AML compliance efforts?

A: Kyros AML Data Suite streamlines AML compliance processes, provides advanced data analytics, enables real-time monitoring and alerts, offers comprehensive reporting capabilities, facilitates integration with existing systems, and ensures adherence to industry best practices and regulatory guidelines.