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Know Your Clients' behaviours: a cluster analysis of financial transactions

by   John R. J. Thompson, et al.
Western University

In Canada, financial advisors and dealers by provincial securities commissions, and those self-regulatory organizations charged with direct regulation over investment dealers and mutual fund dealers, respectively to collect and maintain Know Your Client (KYC) information, such as their age or risk tolerance, for investor accounts. With this information, investors, under their advisor's guidance, make decisions on their investments which are presumed to be beneficial to their investment goals. Our unique dataset is provided by a financial investment dealer with over 50,000 accounts for over 23,000 clients. We use a modified behavioural finance recency, frequency, monetary model for engineering features that quantify investor behaviours, and machine learning clustering algorithms to find groups of investors that behave similarly. We show that the KYC information collected does not explain client behaviours, whereas trade and transaction frequency and volume are most informative. We believe the results shown herein encourage financial regulators and advisors to use more advanced metrics to better understand and predict investor behaviours.


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