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An Interview with Colin Bristow

by | Jan 20, 2022 | Interviews,

Colin Bristow

Colin Bristow

Fraud & AML UK&I – Customer Advisory at SAS

Key Topics:Financial Crimes, Artificial Intelligence, FinTech

Colin Bristow works as part of the Financial Crimes team for SAS UK&I. With over two decades of experience behind him, he has worked across Compliance, Fraud, and Risk functions within the financial services sector. He first started within the industry advising organisations in the usage of machine learning, intelligent systems technologies, and analytics for improvement and business advantage.

One of the first areas he worked in related to the application of intelligent systems technologies within regulated markets. This broadened out into application of the technologies for specific business applications – focused primarily on Anti Money Laundering and Fraud detection within Banking and Insurance.

Having worked with a wide range of companies nationally and internationally, Colin has helped advise and deliver projects that not only support the identification of suspicious activities but also consider the wider ecosphere systems integration, business operating model, and strategy.

How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?

I have a very broad-based engineering background, and I had an ever-inquisitive nature for computing technology from an early age (I had a ZX Spectrum). When I first started working with financial services firms and understood the capabilities available through intelligent systems technologies, it drove my curious nature to investigate areas of application further. The engineer in me also understood that technology alone would not solve everything; so I enhanced my systems thinking skills with a Post Graduate Diploma through the Open University to gain a wider perspective. I have continued to keep up to date with changes in the financial services industry, and where technology is being used to create greater advantage. Be this through the application of FinTech capabilities, RPA of ever-developing cloud-based computing options – I aim to stay abreast of all of these and continue to bring value to firms I work with.

What sub-topics are you most passionate about?

Systems thinking approach. Technology alone does not address all of the complexity associated with implementing a system into a firm. While an element of technology can sometimes address a business challenge really well, considering the overall integration into a wider ecosphere is an important element for ongoing business.

Who influences you within these topics?

What do you think the future holds in this space?

Ever-increasing compliance requirements will continue to challenge firms. Technology has a part to play, but integration needs to be considered. For example, the integration of RPA technologies with intelligent decision processes (termed hyper-automation) has great promise. From a fraud perspective – methods of operation continue to adapt, and new channels of fraud continue to rise up. Firms adopting a flexible open-based technology ecosphere will be able to adapt more quickly – but only through appropriate consideration of ongoing system maintenance and upkeep. I think the ‘buy v build’ decision should be a focus for firms in this space.

If a brand wanted to work with you, which activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?

Podcasts, interviews, news articles, white papers, speaking opportunities.

What are your passions outside of work?

Family always comes first, then sailing (I am a qualified instructor) and then a mixture of activities with the remaining time including walking, football, and supporting a small business.

What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?

Through email.

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