"Five years ago this month, the regulatory environment for financial institutions was transformed virtually overnight," observes Sandy Jaffee, CEO of Fortent, a specialist in anti-money laundering, know your customer and fraud detection technology. "The passage of the PATRIOT Act in October of 2001 brought a whole new level of regulatory oversight to banks and other segments of the financial industry."

Signed by President Bush on October 26, 2001, the USA PATRIOT Act has "elevated compliance to a top-level issue for boards of directors," says Jaffee. "Directors and financial executives are increasingly concerned about reputational risk and have created demand in the market for new ways to solve their compliance problems."

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