Now reading:

Bridging investigations

Bridging investigations

  • 30 October 2019
  • By Dave Yee
  • 7 mins read

Dave Yee joined OCBC Bank in May 2014. He is now Vice President of Support Services, Subsidiaries & Investigations in OCBC Bank's Group Audit department. Hear him speak on how his experience in the Singapore Police Force came in very useful in his job at the Bank.

"I worked with the Singapore Police Force in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) as a Senior Investigator before joining the private sector and OCBC Bank subsequently. I know what some of you may be wondering, ‘What does working in the police force have to do with banking?'"

"Fair question. You may be surprised by the answer but it's ‘quite a lot'."

"You see, my job in the CID and CAD was to investigate commercial crime, primarily credit card fraud and other payment fraud. Now it makes sense, doesn't it? At OCBC Bank, I'm with the investigations team in the Group Audit department. I'm responsible for conducting investigations in areas such as employee fraud and misconduct, including credit card fraud perpetrated by employees."

"I investigate and uphold banking laws and compliance regulations. Our Singapore team also supports overseas subsidiaries and the region, such as with the acquisition in 2014 of the Wing Hang Bank and its subsidiaries in China and Macau to make sure all transactions were above board and all regulations were adhered to."

Differences in law enforcement and banking

"In the police force, I dealt with hard-core criminals and international syndicates. The approach was authoritarian. We were, after all, law enforcement officers. We had the authority to access a lot of information. However, in a private sector bank, I may not see the full picture. Hence, our approach is very analytical. We rigorously analyse information to connect the dots and derive a logical and reasonable deduction on the financial crime in question."

"The work in the Bank is super dynamic. Technology is constantly evolving. It never stops! Criminals try and exploit these changes by looking for new ways to commit identity theft. While it's not always easy to detect and catch financial criminals, the team is excellent at securing the Bank and its processes for our customers."

Challenges of internal policing

"The most challenging or ‘tricky' aspect of my job is dealing with colleagues. Unfortunately, we are sometimes called to investigate staff who may have breached certain regulations. Emotions come into play. While we have to be thorough in the investigations, we have to be sensitive, delicate and subtle in approaching our staff if we have reason to suspect their involvement in a breach or any irregularities. More importantly, we have to handle it professionally and with empathy. The ways in which we handle these emotions may have an impact on the investigation and the eventual outcome."

Settling into OCBC Bank

"Starting at OCBC Bank was initially challenging as I had to get myself familiarised with the organisation and its broad geographical footprint, but the team that I worked with was great in helping me settle in. We share common goals and move forward together. Everyone in the team is capable and highly motivated. Our bosses are open and receptive to ideas. I really feel I have a voice in the team and can contribute to the security of the Bank."

Learning on the job

"I've learned a lot, especially in analytics and processes. I've learned to use analytical software to perform analysis and conduct rule-based examinations to spot red-flags that may point to fraud, use e-discovery tools to discover unstructured data and leverage technology to unravel criminal or fraud activities in a short span of time. Sounds very scientific! Everything is structured and secure. I enjoy sifting through the vast amount of information to gather evidence and piece together a jigsaw puzzle. Who would have thought you could do ‘detective work' in a bank!"

Looking ahead

"I'm happy with my current role because it's so dynamic. I look forward to learning and leveraging new technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotic process automation and advanced data analytics and visualisations to further streamline the investigation process. I would also love to develop forensic capabilities to be skilled in recovering and interpreting data found in digital devices."

"You don't really have to be from a bank, as long as you have transferable skills or a passion to break into banking. But not break into a bank, please! I'll find you. That's my job."