Financial institutions should be prohibited from keeping anonymous accounts or accounts in obviously fictitious names.
Financial institutions should be required to undertake customer due diligence (CDD) measures when:
(i) establishing business relations;
(ii) carrying out occasional transactions: (i) above the applicable designated threshold (USD/EUR 15,000); or (ii) that are wire transfers in the circumstances covered by the Interpretive Note to Recommendation 16;
(iii) there is a suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing; or
(iv) the financial institution has doubts about the veracity or adequacy of previously obtained customer identification data.
The principle that financial institutions should conduct CDD should be set out in law. Each country may determine how it imposes specific CDD obligations, either through law or enforceable means.The CDD measures to be taken are as follows:
(a) Identifying the customer and verifying that customer’s identity using reliable, independent source documents, data or information.
(b) Identifying the beneficial owner, and taking reasonable measures to verify the identity of the beneficial owner, such that the financial institution is satisfied that it knows who the beneficial owner is. For legal persons and arrangements this should include financial institutions understanding the ownership and control structure of the customer.
(c) Understanding and, as appropriate, obtaining information on the purpose and intended nature of the business relationship.
(d) Conducting ongoing due diligence on the business relationship and scrutiny of transactions undertaken throughout the course of that relationship to ensure that the transactions being conducted are consistent with the institution’s knowledge of the customer, their business and risk profile, including, where necessary, the source of funds.
Financial institutions should be required to apply each of the CDD measures under (a) to (d) above, but should determine the extent of such measures using a risk-based approach (RBA) in accordance with the Interpretive Notes to this Recommendation and to Recommendation 1.
Financial institutions should be required to verify the identity of the customer and beneficial owner before or during the course of establishing a business relationship or conducting transactions for occasional customers. Countries may permit financial institutions to complete the verification as soon as reasonably practicable following the establishment of the relationship, where the money laundering and terrorist financing risks are effectively managed and where this is essential not to interrupt the normal conduct of business.
Where the financial institution is unable to comply with the applicable requirements under paragraphs (a) to (d) above (subject to appropriate modification of the extent of the measures on a risk-based approach), it should be required not to open the account, commence business relations or perform the transaction; or should be required to terminate the business relationship; and should consider making a suspicious transactions report in relation to the customer.
These requirements should apply to all new customers, although financial institutions should also apply this Recommendation to existing customers on the basis of materiality and risk, and should conduct due diligence on such existing relationships at appropriate times.
INTERPRETIVE NOTE TO RECOMMENDATION 10 (CUSTOMER DUE DILIGENCE)
A. CUSTOMER DUE DILIGENCE AND TIPPING-OFF
1. If, during the establishment or course of the customer relationship, or when conducting occasional transactions, a financial institution suspects that transactions relate to money laundering or terrorist financing, then the institution should:
(a) normally seek to identify and verify the identity of the customer and the beneficial owner, whether permanent or occasional, and irrespective of any exemption or any designated threshold that might otherwise apply; and
(b) make a suspicious transaction report (STR) to the financial intelligence unit (FIU), in accordance with Recommendation 20.
2. Recommendation 21 prohibits financial institutions, their directors, officers and employees from disclosing the fact that an STR or related information is being reported to the FIU. A risk exists that customers could be unintentionally tipped off when the financial institution is seeking to perform its customer due diligence (CDD) obligations in these circumstances. The customer’s awareness of a possible STR or investigation could compromise future efforts to investigate the suspected money laundering or terrorist financing operation.
3. Therefore, if financial institutions form a suspicion that transactions relate to money laundering or terrorist financing, they should take into account the risk of tipping-off when performing the CDD process. If the institution reasonably believes that performing the CDD process will tip-off the customer or potential customer, it may choose not to pursue that process, and should file an STR. Institutions should ensure that their employees are aware of, and sensitive to, these issues when conducting CDD.
B. CDD – PERSONS ACTING ON BEHALF OF A CUSTOMER
4. When performing elements (a) and (b) of the CDD measures specified under Recommendation 10, financial institutions should also be required to verify that any person purporting to act on behalf of the customer is so authorised, and should identify and verify the identity of that person.
C. CDD FOR LEGAL PERSONS AND ARRANGEMENTS
5. When performing CDD measures in relation to customers that are legal persons or legal arrangements, financial institutions should be required to identify and verify the customer.
D. CDD FOR BENEFICIARIES OF LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES
6. For life or other investment-related insurance business, financial institutions should, in addition to the CDD measures required for the customer and the beneficial owner, conduct the following CDD measures on the beneficiary(ies) of life insurance and other investment related insurance policies, as soon as the beneficiary(ies) are identified/designated:
(a) For beneficiary(ies) that are identified as specifically named natural or legal persons or legal arrangements – taking the name of the person;
(b) For beneficiary(ies) that are designated by characteristics or by class (e.g. spouse or children at the time that the insured event occurs) or by other means (e.g. under a will) – obtaining sufficient information concerning the beneficiary to satisfy the financial institution that it will be able to establish the identity of the beneficiary at the time of the payout.The information collected under (a) and/or (b) should be recorded and maintained in accordance with the provisions of Recommendation 11.
7. For both the cases referred to in 6(a) and (b) above, the verification of the identity of the beneficiary(ies) should occur at the time of the payout.
31 For beneficiary(ies) of trusts that are designated by characteristics or by class, financial institutions should obtain sufficient information concerning the beneficiary to satisfy the financial institution that it will be able to establish the identity of the beneficiary at the time of the payout or when the beneficiary intends to exercise vested rights.
8. The beneficiary of a life insurance policy should be included as a relevant risk factor by the financial institution in determining whether enhanced CDD measures are applicable. If the financial institution determines that a beneficiary who is a legal person or a legal arrangement presents a higher risk, then the enhanced CDD measures should include reasonable measures to identify and verify the identity of the beneficial owner of the beneficiary, at the time of payout.
9. Where a financial institution is unable to comply with paragraphs 6 to 8 above, it should consider making a suspicious transaction report.
E. RELIANCE ON IDENTIFICATION AND VERIFICATION ALREADY PERFORMED
10. The CDD measures set out in Recommendation 10 do not imply that financial institutions have to repeatedly identify and verify the identity of each customer every time that a customer conducts a transaction. An institution is entitled to rely on the identification and verification steps that it has already undertaken, unless it has doubts about the veracity of that information. Examples of situations that might lead an institution to have such doubts could be where there is a suspicion of money laundering in relation to that customer, or where there is a material change in the way that the customer’s account is operated, which is not consistent with the customer’s business profile.
F. TIMING OF VERIFICATION
11. Examples of the types of circumstances (in addition to those referred to above for beneficiaries of life insurance policies) where it would be permissible for verification to be completed after the establishment of the business relationship, because it would be essential not to interrupt the normal conduct of business, include:
∎ Non face-to-face business.
∎ Securities transactions. In the securities industry, companies and intermediaries may be required to perform transactions very rapidly, according to the market conditions at the time the customer is contacting them, and the performance of the transaction may be required before verification of identity is completed.
12. Financial institutions will also need to adopt risk management procedures with respect to the conditions under which a customer may utilise the business relationship prior to verification. These procedures should include a set of measures, such as a limitation of the number, types and/or amount of transactions that can be performed and the monitoring of large or complex transactions being carried out outside the expected norms for that type of relationship.
G. EXISTING CUSTOMERS
13. Financial institutions should be required to apply CDD measures to existing customers on the basis of materiality and risk, and to conduct due diligence on such existing relationships at appropriate times, taking into account whether and when CDD measures have previously been undertaken and the adequacy of data obtained.
H. RISK BASED APPROACH
14. The examples below are not mandatory elements of the FATF Standards, and are included for guidance only. The examples are not intended to be comprehensive, and although they are considered to be helpful indicators, they may not be relevant in all circumstances.
15. There are circumstances where the risk of money laundering or terrorist financing is higher, and enhanced CDD measures have to be taken. When assessing the money laundering and terrorist financing risks relating to types of customers, countries or geographic areas, and particular products, services, transactions or delivery channels, examples of potentially higher-risk situations (in addition to those set out in Recommendations 12 to 16) include the following:
(a) Customer risk factors:
∎ The business relationship is conducted in unusual circumstances (e.g. significant unexplained geographic distance between the financial institution and the customer).
∎ Non-resident customers.
∎ Legal persons or arrangements that are personal asset-holding vehicles.
∎ Companies that have nominee shareholders or shares in bearer form.
∎ Business that are cash-intensive.
∎ The ownership structure of the company appears unusual or excessively complex given the nature of the company’s business.
(b) Country or geographic risk factors:
∎ Countries identified by credible sources, such as mutual evaluation or detailed assessment reports or published follow-up reports, as not having adequate AML/CFT systems.
∎ Countries subject to sanctions, embargos or similar measures issued by, for example, the United Nations.
∎ Countries identified by credible sources as having significant levels of corruption or other criminal activity.
∎ Countries or geographic areas identified by credible sources as providing funding or support for terrorist activities, or that have designated terrorist organisations operating within their country.
(c) Product, service, transaction or delivery channel risk factors:
∎ Private banking.
∎ Anonymous transactions (which may include cash).
∎ Non-face-to-face business relationships or transactions.
∎ Payment received from unknown or un-associated third parties.
16. There are circumstances where the risk of money laundering or terrorist financing may be lower. In such circumstances, and provided there has been an adequate analysis of the risk by the country or by the financial institution, it could be reasonable for a country to allow its financial institutions to apply simplified CDD measures.
17. When assessing the money laundering and terrorist financing risks relating to types of customers, countries or geographic areas, and particular products, services, transactions or delivery channels, examples of potentially lower risk situations include the following:
(a) Customer risk factors:
∎ Financial institutions and DNFBPs – where they are subject to requirements to combat money laundering and terrorist financing consistent with the FATF Recommendations, have effectively implemented those requirements, and are effectively supervised or monitored in accordance with the Recommendations to ensure compliance with those requirements.
∎ Public companies listed on a stock exchange and subject to disclosure requirements (either by stock exchange rules or through law or enforceable means), which impose requirements to ensure adequate transparency of beneficial ownership.
∎ Public administrations or enterprises.
(b) Product, service, transaction or delivery channel risk factors:
∎ Life insurance policies where the premium is low (e.g. an annual premium of less than USD/EUR 1,000 or a single premium of less than USD/EUR 2,500).
∎ Insurance policies for pension schemes if there is no early surrender option and the policy cannot be used as collateral.
∎ A pension, superannuation or similar scheme that provides retirement benefits to employees, where contributions are made by way of deduction from wages, and the scheme rules do not permit the assignment of a member’s interest under the scheme.
∎ Financial products or services that provide appropriately defined and limited services to certain types of customers, so as to increase access for financial inclusion purposes.
(c) Country risk factors:
∎ Countries identified by credible sources, such as mutual evaluation or detailed assessment reports, as having effective AML/CFT systems.
∎ Countries identified by credible sources as having a low level of corruption or other criminal activity.
In making a risk assessment, countries or financial institutions could, when appropriate, also take into account possible variations in money laundering and terrorist financing risk between different regions or areas within a country.
18. Having a lower money laundering and terrorist financing risk for identification and verification purposes does not automatically mean that the same customer is lower risk for all types of CDD measures, in particular for ongoing monitoring of transactions.
19. When assessing the money laundering and terrorist financing risks relating to types of customers, countries or geographic areas, and particular products, services, transactions or delivery channels risk, a financial institution should take into account risk variables relating to those risk categories. These variables, either singly or in combination, may increase or decrease the potential risk posed, thus impacting the appropriate level of CDD measures. Examples of such variables include:
∎ The purpose of an account or relationship.
∎ The level of assets to be deposited by a customer or the size of transactions undertaken.
∎ The regularity or duration of the business relationship.
Enhanced CDD measures
20. Financial institutions should examine, as far as reasonably possible, the background and purpose of all complex, unusual large transactions, and all unusual patterns of transactions, which have no apparent economic or lawful purpose. Where the risks of money laundering or terrorist financing are higher, financial institutions should be required to conduct enhanced CDD measures, consistent with the risks identified. In particular, they should increase the degree and nature of monitoring of the business relationship, in order to determine whether those transactions or activities appear unusual or suspicious. Examples of enhanced CDD measures that could be applied for higher-risk business relationships include:
∎ Obtaining additional information on the customer (e.g. occupation, volume of assets, information available through public databases, internet, etc.), and updating more regularly the identification data of customer and beneficial owner.
∎ Obtaining additional information on the intended nature of the business relationship.
∎ Obtaining information on the source of funds or source of wealth of the customer.
∎ Obtaining information on the reasons for intended or performed transactions.
∎ Obtaining the approval of senior management to commence or continue the business relationship.
∎ Conducting enhanced monitoring of the business relationship, by increasing the number and timing of controls applied, and selecting patterns of transactions that need further examination.
∎ Requiring the first payment to be carried out through an account in the customer’s name with a bank subject to similar CDD standards.
Simplified CDD measures
21. Where the risks of money laundering or terrorist financing are lower, financial institutions could be allowed to conduct simplified CDD measures, which should take into account the nature of the lower risk. The simplified measures should be commensurate with the lower risk factors (e.g. the simplified measures could relate only to customer acceptance measures or to aspects of ongoing monitoring). Examples of possible measures are:
∎ Verifying the identity of the customer and the beneficial owner after the establishment of the business relationship (e.g. if account transactions rise above a defined monetary threshold).
∎ Reducing the frequency of customer identification updates.
∎ Reducing the degree of on-going monitoring and scrutinising transactions, based on a reasonable monetary threshold.
∎ Not collecting specific information or carrying out specific measures to understand the purpose and intended nature of the business relationship, but inferring the purpose and nature from the type of transactions or business relationship established.
Simplified CDD measures are not acceptable whenever there is a suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing, or where specific higher-risk scenarios apply.
22. The designated threshold for occasional transactions under Recommendation 10 is USD/EUR 15,000. Financial transactions above the designated threshold include situations where the transaction is carried out in a single operation or in several operations that appear to be linked.
Ongoing due diligence
23. Financial institutions should be required to ensure that documents, data or information collected under the CDD process is kept up-to-date and relevant by undertaking reviews of existing records, particularly for higher-risk categories of customers.