Saturday, January 10, 2015


For the compliance officer, obtaining open-source negative information timely, on a due diligence target, is one of the primary objectives. In essence, you want to know whether there's anything in the target's recent past which could impact your decision on whether to onboard him as a new bank client, or form a joint venture with his company, or to enter into a business relationships, or financial ventures, with him.

Google News ( has always been one on my favorites, for it trolls the global media, and you generally get exactly what you want: articles or news regarding your target. I always liked the fact that only relatively recent articles qualified for Google News; stale news, more than a couple of months old, did not appear ( you usually found that in a regular search engine query).

Lately, though, Google News has expanded the scope of that feature. Any search that you do will return information from several years ago not just from late 2014 & early 2015. There's a lot to plough through, and old news may not be exactly what you want. You also do not want a huge number of entries to sift through, in this day of reputation management, when agents working for your target can see that their client is quoted, in a positive light, in a number of legitimate news articles, making the sole negative story that's out there hard to locate.

Also,a news search, in my humble opinion, is intended to see whether there's anything recent which could impact your decision-making process about the client/customer/counter-party/target. If a client had a financial issue in 2006, that will not have the impact that a 2014 story will have. It may not even be relevant to the present day risk portfolio.

Some researchers now will limit, by date, their Google News searches, but given that the default search algorithm has now been expanded to include all available prior news items, I will hereafter be using other search resources. You should do what is appropriate for your needs, but I wanted to make sure that you understand what results you will now obtain, due to Google News' expansion of its parameters, will be much larger than before. A quick search will no longer return a couple of entries to review.  

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