Knowledge and Insights

The Benefits of BSA Staff Augmentation for Banks

Financial Institutions face a unique set of challenges and responsibilities, especially within their Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) departments. An institution’s BSA/AML staff is the first line of compliance for AML and counter-terrorism financing regulations. This group of all-too-often unheralded compliance heroes can include a variety of roles, including case analysts responsible for reviewing transactions/alerts flagged by an automated transaction monitoring (TM) model, OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) sanctions screening specialists protecting the institution from the risk of facilitating money laundering by known bad actors and/or sanctioned states, and KYC (Know Your Customer) analysts ensuring the best laid compliance plans documented as part of an AML/CFT program is top of mind when conducting due diligence among the customer base.

Engaging a third-party vendor that provides staff augmentation services is a strategic solution that can enhance your compliance efforts. Staff augmentation can be a short-term solution to bridge the gap created by temporary or unplanned staffing turnover, or part of a well-designed enterprise risk management strategy, and offers numerous benefits that cater specifically to the needs of substantial banking operations.


  1. Flexibility and Scalability: Staff augmentation provides BSA departments with the ability to scale up or down based on the workload and regulatory demands. This flexibility is crucial, especially for institutions with a seasonal or cyclical business periods that could lead to backlogs.
  2. Cost Efficiency: The cost of hiring full-time employees involves an investment that extends beyond salary. Overhead expenses and the investment of time by other staff/management to train a less experienced staff member can be costly. This risk is ever increasing in a hiring market with a talent shortage that incentivizes frequent movement of employees from one employer to another. Staff augmentation can be a cost-effective solution to combat these challenges.
  3. Access to Specialized Skills: Staff augmentation provides access to professionals with highly specialized skills and deep knowledge of ever-evolving BSA regulations, highly complex transaction monitoring models, etc.
  4. Reduced Recruitment Time: Staff augmentation allows your organization to quickly plug-in a highly recommended BSA expert to fit the exact needs of the institution, leading to a reduction in recruitment time.
  5. Knowledge Transfer: A new perspective from a highly trained and experienced compliance professional willing to share knowledge can be valuable for continuous improvement, even well after staff augmentation ends.
  6. Risk Mitigation: Compliance errors can result in significant fines and reputational damage. Staff augmentation offers the opportunity to reduce the risk of non-compliance.
  7. Project-Based Support: For specific projects or initiatives, such as implementing new systems/models, developing policies and procedures, launching new products and services which may be inherently high-risk, or conducting risk assessments and audits, staff augmentation can provide the necessary subject matter expertise without the long-term commitment of hiring full-time employees.


In an industry where precision, expertise, and agility are key, working with Mercadien for staff augmentation services will supplement your current BSA department, helping your institution effectively maintain compliance while mitigating risk in a cost-effective manner.

Don’t let regulatory complexities or capacity constraints slow your growth. Partner with Mercadien’s Financial Institutions Services Group and transform your BSA department into a powerhouse of compliance and efficiency. Contact us today to get started.

DISCLAIMER: This advisory resource is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute business or tax advice and may not be used and relied upon as a substitute for business or tax advice regarding a specific issue or problem. Advice should be obtained from a qualified accountant, tax practitioner or attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where that advice is sought.