Meet Suzanne White – Senior AML Consultant, FCS Compliance

Find out more about the AML experts at FCS. In this interview, FCS PR Director, Alison Blease introduces you to Suzanne White…

Hello, today I’m with Suzanne White who is a senior AML consultant with FCS Compliance to learn a little more about her background and her role within FCS. Welcome!

Hi there Alison!

You’ve been with FCS since 2020 and I believed joined just as the country went into its first lockdown, is that right?

Yes, I joined the company in March 2020, a week before we went into lockdown. I met the team virtually over Zoom and everyone was so helpful in making me feel welcome and supported in my new role.

But before you joined FCS, I believe you were in banking?

I worked for Halifax UK for over 20 years. My role changed over that time, but I worked largely in mortgages -mortgage sales, underwriting and mortgage compliance. I did quite a bit of work underwriting intermediary mortgages, so working with mortgage brokers and often dealt directly with estate agents.

Which fits neatly with the work you do now.

Definitely. I feel I understand the stresses and strains of the estate agency world. But I also worked as a property services manager in the Oxford branch of Halifax which was all about providing a high standard of customer service within a regulated environment. Due diligence was at its core.

And I guess managing clients’ expectations too?

Yes being able to know how to manage clients’ expectations was important and this is a skill set that has come in handy many times in both previous and current roles!

So how did you come to join FCS Compliance?

After I left Halifax, one of the Co-Founders of FCS Compliance – Jerry Walters – whom I already knew, got in touch with me because of my experience. I had a skill set that was a good fit for FCS and I was asked if I’d like to join the team. The role sounded similar to the work I’d done at Halifax and I’m so pleased that I decided to join. I have to say I love the job – it was definitely a good move!

And what exactly is your role at FCS?

I do a lot of CDD (Customer Due Diligence) work, I prepare Policies and Procedures documents and I help file SARs (Suspicious Activity Reports) on behalf of clients. In fact, I’m no stranger to SARs – at Halifax one of the things I was involved in was spotting the signs needed to merit filing a SARs.

I also train our new recruits.

There seem to be quite a few parallels between your past and current roles?

There are. Attention to detail is a thread which runs throughout, along with hand-holding customers through what are often complex processes.

What do you enjoy most about your current role?

I love the variety of work – no two days are the same. We are extremely busy and we’re taking on new clients all the time which is really nice to see. And then internally, I love the FCS team. We work really well together, we discuss and share expertise which means you always feel supported.

And have you met the team face-to-face yet?

Yes, earlier this summer we all got together, it was fantastic to see/meet everyone!

And finally, one question I ask all the FCS team what are the common mistakes that you see customers make?

Assumptions. People make lots of assumptions – they assume their clients wouldn’t be involved in money laundering practices, they assume that because they don’t sell expensive properties or works of art, they’ll be fine. The truth of the matter is everyone needs to meet their AML obligations and in order to do this should stick to the facts and keep an open mind.

One thing I would add is that lots of clients come to us at the very last minute, but if I have one word of advice it would be get the ball rolling as soon as you can – it’ll save time and heartache if you do.

Thank you Suzanne, it’s been great talking with you today.

Learn more about the FCS compliance team here.