The Rise of the Mule

Report

We worked with 12 Financial Institutions (FIs) and Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) to prove the hypothesis that we could overlay payments data with cutting-edge analytical techniques to highlight the existence and scale of suspect mule accounts operating within the banking network and to map the movement of funds through the UK payments systems.

For the first time ever, Accura brought together two years’ worth of Faster Payments transaction data in order to build a representation of the UK’s payments network, connecting nearly 87 million accounts across FIs, detailing over 357 million individual payment relationships. The 12 participating FIs represented the overwhelming majority of the UK interbank payments volume.

The results are significant and conclusive:

  • We have proven that it is possible to develop game-changing anti-money laundering solutions to tackle the issue of money mules

  • Our solution can help address concerns by consumer bodies, in particular assertions in the recent Which? Super-complaint that the industry is not doing enough to protect people and businesses from fraud

  • The solution has the potential to suffocate funds dispersion routes, and to make UK payments more secure for both individuals and businesses

These unprecedented findings mark a vital step forward for the industry in the fight against organised financial crime, as well as an opportunity to help reduce the impact of fraud on both FIs and their customers.

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The Rise of the Mule

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