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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Asia Report: Fighting White Collar Crime

Posted by John Bates

Titchy_johnHello from Hong Kong. As always it is fascinating to see how CEP is evolving in Asia. One trend I am observing is the huge interest in Hong Kong in rogue traders and white collar crime – and how CEP can be used to detect and prevent this – before it moves the market. Obviously the original rogue trader, Nick Leeson, is well known here. But there has been a great deal of interest in more recent goings-on, at firms such as SocGen. Amazingly, until a couple of years ago, insider trading was not illegal in Hong Kong! Now we have a highly volatile market, with a lot of uncertainty, huge event volumes and a real problem of seeking out and preventing rogue trading activities, as well as managing risk exposure proactively.

Of course CEP provides a compelling approach. In market surveillance - the ability to monitor-analyze and act on complex patterns that indicate potential market abuse or potential dangerous risk exposure can allow a regulator, trading venue or bank to act instantly. Banks want the reassurance that they are policing their own systems. Regulators need to protect the public. The media and public here find this fascinating.

On the topic of a different kind of white collar crime – consider using CEP to detect abuse in the gaming industry. The gambling phenomenon that has propelled Macau to overtake Las Vegas as the world’s biggest gambling hub is also an exciting opportunity for CEP. We have customers using CEP to monitor and detect various forms of potential abuse in casinos. Events that are analyzed to find these patterns include gamblers and dealers signing on at tables, wins and losses, cards being dealt etc. It is possible to detect a range of potential illegal activities, ranging from dealer-gambler collusion to card counting.

As a final thought - having met with some of our customers that operate both in Hong Kong and mainland China, it is clear that China is a massive market opportunity for CEP. Exciting times ahead for CEP in Asia.

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