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School of Law

Artificial Intelligence and Financial Crime: Panacea or Pandora’s Box?

15 May 2018

Time: 5:00 - 7:00pm
Venue: Peston Lecture Theatre, Graduate Centre, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

AI and big data may help both to make anti-money laundering (AML) processes more effective, and at the same time minimise financial exclusion, to the benefit of business, regulators, and people who are otherwise unnecessarily denied access to the financial system. But rather than promote financial inclusion, some worry that the opposite could result if regulators fall behind or if regulated persons, institutions and providers fail to realise the potential of new, technology-driven approaches.

Bringing together experts from across the legal, banking and technology disciplines, this seminar will address the following issues:

  • Policy issues related to the introduction of AI as a tool of financial crime prevention. In particular, are AI technologies an acceptable means of financial crime detection and prevention? Can they make a real contribution to the policy goal of financial inclusion?
  • RegTech and present-day regulations. How adequate is the existing AML framework, currently founded on the responsibility of banks and their employees to identify and report suspicious activities? When technologies aimed at facilitating regulatory compliance (RegTech) can see so much, does our reliance on it risk missing human elements?  When RegTech can see so much, does our reliance on it risk finding so much that it creates an undue appearance of non-compliance? How do we manage the risk of RegTech generating false positives that aggravate rather than resolve the problem of financial exclusion?
  • Legal and technological practicalities of the implementation of AI-based solutions in the domain of financial crime prevention. How can accountability be ensured based on the operation of AI algorithms? From a lawyer’s perspective, to what extent does the UK AML framework facilitate reliance on AI technologies for financial crime detection, especially those developed by the RegTech industries, rather than in-house by financial institutions?
  • Real world examples. Leading experts in AML/CFT and in AI generally will give their personal insights into the issues that this subject raises, and will discuss real world examples about the strategies and tactics that may work for setting up and operating appropriate compliance operations to respond to existing problems and inoculate systems against future ones.

The event will take place at 5.15 pm on 15 May 2018 at the Graduate Centre at Queen Mary University of London.

This seminar also marks the publication of the 2nd edition of Banks and Financial Crime: The International Law of Tainted Money edited by Sir William Blair, Richard Brent QC, and Dr Tom Grant, with a distinguished team of authors, published by the Oxford University Press.

The seminar is hosted by the Criminal Justice Centre (CJC) at Queen Mary University of London with the support of the Centre’s Co-Director and Head of the Department of Law, Professor Valsamis Mitsilegas. The CJC provides a platform for discussion of all aspects of criminal justice with a particular focus on facilitating the exchange of views between academics, practitioners, and policy-makers. The list of past events organised by the CJC is available at The organisers also thank McKool Smith LLP for its generous support.

Featured Speakers Include:

  • Professor Joanna Bryson, Reader, Department of Computer Science, University of Bath.
  • F. Scott Kieff, Principal, McKool Smith Washington, D.C. and Silicon Valley offices; former Commissioner, U.S. International Trade Commission.
  • Libby Kinsey, Machine Learning Consultant, Digital Catapult, Co-Founder at Project Juno.
  • Neil Munro, Head of Société Générale’s London Branch’s Financial Crime Unit, MLRO for the Branch, Deputy Chair of the BBA’s Money Laundering Advisory Panel.
  • Michael Shearer, Global Head of Systems Delivery, Financial Crime Threat Mitigation Team, HSBC.
  • David Quest QC, 3 Verulam Buildings, a commercial and financial QC with a mathematical and technical background.

The panels will be chaired by Sir William Blair, Professor of Financial Law and Ethics, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London, and 3 Verulam Buildings, and Dr Tom Grant, Fellow, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge.

It will be followed by a reception at which Sir Ross Cranston FBA, Professor of Law at the London School of Economics, and 3 Verulam Buildings, will kindly make remarks. The 3rd edition of Principles of Banking Law, by Sir Ross Cranston, Emilios Avgouleas, Kristin van Zwieten, Christopher Hare, and Theodor van Sante, was published by the Oxford University Press in February 2018.

The organisers thank Anton Moiseienko, a recent PhD graduate of the Criminal Justice Centre, for his assistance in developing a concept of this seminar.


For directions to the venue, please refer to the map.

How to book

This event is free but prior booking is required. Register online via Eventbrite.


For more information on this event, please email

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