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Debanking, profiling and compliance

The data assembled on us influences how others view and interact with us, particularly with financial institutions. We work to identify issues that damage a reputation and create blocks, resolving the problems to protect freedom to operate.

Microfiche research machines in a library

While controversy over the role of political views in removing access to financial products is recent, the practice of being turned away because of “reputation risk” has been going on for years. For the last decade we have been helping those whose ability to operate freely in business has been unfairly limited for reasons including their country of origin being deemed a risk, the sector they operate in is criticised or they are wrongly believed to be linked to people banks don’t want to deal with.

The problem is fuelled by unregulated industrial scale data aggregators, who we have seen willing to treat a blogpost from a known Russian kompromat site with the same weight as a broadsheet newspaper.

This environment creates risk that if a gap is allowed to open between what a business thinks it is known for and what an outside observer would conclude from data, they will be treated unfairly.

Where problems come from

Managing risk for institutions involves due diligence on who they choose to do business with, across a diverse range of activity from banking to citizenship and residency applications. Recent years have shown those processes to lean increasingly on those aggregating third party data to make assessments which can lead to people being “debanked” and having their access to financial services limited (read more: why do banks ban customers?)

With that comes the risk of errors in the data or material that looks like a red flag but has an innocent explanation. We work with those approaching these processes or who have experienced difficulties to reverse the processes and understand what their profile is and whether it matches with the reputation they need to achieve their objectives.

What we do

The starting point is to understand why problems are occurring, we use legal techniques to identify what data is being relied upon and by whom to make decisions.

Where false information appears we use our expertise in handling reputation law across jurisdictions to remedy it, or where substantive issues arise we work to resolve them.

With that information we can reassure stakeholders of the issues and prepare clients to engage constructively with stakeholders to provide an accurate picture of risk.

Find out more

Email with questions or for further information.

Case Study

International business with banking questions

The Challenge: A global business faced questions from their banks about their work in developing nations and links to the regimes. Investigations into other entities' relations with those governments had caused concern.

What We Did: We identified what was causing the bank concern and why flags were being raised. That allowed us to conduct a third party investigation into what had happened, validating explanations provided by the business and enabling the bank to satisfy its queries.

The Result: The banking relationship continued without disruption to our client. When a bank in another territory raised similar questions a year later, our client had the answer ready to deliver immediately.

Locations: Global