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How to mitigate the risk of Signatory Fraud

How to mitigate the risk of Signatory Fraud

19 September 2019

Article by Cygnetise

Managing, auditing and distributing your authorised signatory lists has never been easier by using the Cygnetise application. What used to take hours, now takes minutes.

Door ajar with at night with pink light from Cygnetise logo shining through

In many organisations, the process of managing and distributing authorised signatory lists is still paper-based and manual. This means that company secretaries face a huge administrative burden between compiling, scanning, and distributing the lists. For every refresh, there is a repaper and redistribution. Hundreds, and in some cases thousands of hours are wasted every year on this task, costing organisations millions of pounds. Does this scenario sound familiar to you?


The problem

The existing process of managing authorised signatory lists relies on the party maintaining the list to decide how frequent they change and distribute their lists.

What is the reality?

Due to the time consuming nature of the task, lists are often not reproduced for individual departures and arrivals, but instead a periodic change is often chosen. The inconsistent approach leads to scenarios where employees are both on the list when they should no longer be or are not on the list when they need to be.

Who has to update the list in your organisation?

If it is someone junior, they simply do the task given to them. If it is someone senior, this is taking up even more valuable time. The common response is not to update the list immediately and accept the risk.


53% of company secretaries said it takes a week or longer to refresh their signatory lists

Data from our survey on the management of signatory lists at ICSA Annual Conference


What are your risks?

  • A payment gets held up
  • A deal or transaction gets delayed
  • A deal fails
  • Delays in associated processes
  • Deliberate fraud happens. Someone signs that is not eligible. But how long till you find out? Remember, your counterpart has an ‘up to date’ list, so won’t think to inform you

Version Control

The counterpart, with whom you share your list is reliant on the new data being sent to them and often have no control over the frequency with which they receive the list and/or how up to date it is. When there is a time-sensitive matter, having to refresh a list to match a signature can be so difficult that the deal or trade fails, or the agreement runs out.

Fraud / Responsibility

Organisations on both sides of any transaction that require signatures are exposed to a high risk of fraud. Each day that a signatory remains on your list, after having left your company is a serious fraud risk opportunity. They can sign and you will not know anything about it. Why? Because you have not given your counterpart the updated list! They are just acting on their version - which is out of date.

Audit Points

From an auditor's perspective a company that does not keep its authorised signatory list accurate and up to date is always cited as a risk. Many companies have audit points for their signatory list management / delegated authorities. Do you?

The solution

At Cygnetise, we have developed an application that solves the pain of managing authorised signatory lists, making it secure and efficient. Our technology enables users to update their lists in real time and has a variety of sharing mechanisms so that the counterpart can always have access to the most up to date information without you having to recompile and redistribute. You can save over 90% of their admin costs and time, whilst mitigating the risk of fraud for the organisation.


75% of company secretaries said it would be beneficial if they could update and distribute their lists in real time

Data from our survey on the management of signatory lists at ICSA Annual Conference


Why Cygnetise?

  • Signatory lists can be created in minutes with signatories added to or removed from multiple lists in one easy step
  • Allow trusted counterparts to have a real time tokenized link to your authorised signatory list for as long as you allow
  • Ability to share lists via traditional methods
  • Receive an audit trail showing what was changed and by whom
  • Increase the security of your data by managing external access to your lists
  • GDPR compliant

At Cygnetise, they are on a mission to make help company secretaries reduce the burden of managing authorised signatory lists so they can focus on what’s more important. To learn more about Cygnetise, schedule a demo today.

Source: Cygnetise


How Vaiie can help

Vaiie's Client Onboarding solution connects seamlessly with Cygnetise, further removing manual effort in the client onboarding due diligence process. We can work with you to implement as an integrated or standalone solution.  Contact us today to schedule a demo.

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