Customer verification (CDD) is at the heart of the Money Laundering Regulations. Whereas CDD has many elements, it is identifying and verifying the customer’s identity on the basis of documents or information, obtained from a reliable and independent source, according to the risk assessed, which is the key. Do you know your customer?
It is also identifying and verifying any ‘beneficial owner’. This means any individual who ultimately owns or controls, whether direct or indirect ownership or control more than 25% of the shares or voting rights in a company, or more than a 25% share of the capital or profits of a partnership. It also extends to ‘shadow’ directors or partners, those who exercise control over then management.
We are proud to be a SmartSearch Certified Partner reselling their full product range to our account holders on a non-contractual ‘Paye as You Go’ Basis, invoicing our customer account holders for their actual usage on a monthly basis. Typically, some of our smaller account holders average just 25 searches a year.
SmartSearch Secure Platform
SmartSearch is responsible for creating one of the very first electronic AML services back in the early 2000s; Back then, regulatory bodies did not accept electronic identification as a viable alternative to documents such as passports, driving licenses and utility bills. But now, it is recognised as the most reliable, secure and efficient source of information for identity solutions, with the Fifth Money Laundering Directive now stipulating that electronic identification should be used wherever possible.
The SmartSearch platform is unique, and its innovative online platform enables our customers to electronically identify UK and international individuals and businesses. It is the only Know Your Customer (KYC) solution that also provides full sanction and Politically Exposed Person (PEP) screening and ongoing monitoring, allowing clients to use this one piece of technology for all their AML compliance needs.
The data sources of the unique dual bureau platform which uses Experian & Equifax enables them to get the highest match-and-pass rate in the market at an impressive 90-95%. Learn more about the data partners below.
Equifax is a consumer credit reporting agency that collects and aggregates information on more than 800 million individual consumers and more than 88 million businesses worldwide.
Experian is a multinational consumer credit reporting company that collects and aggregates information on more than a billion people, making it one of the largest Data Reference Agencies in the world.
The Dow Jones Factiva Watchlist is comprised of more than 1,100 worldwide Sanction and PEP lists. SmartSearch host this database in-house and take updates every night to drive our screening and daily monitoring services.
All forms of companies must be incorporated and registered with Companies House and file annual financial statements and company returns; we use this information to deliver our incorporated business data.
Compliance and Monitoring Issues
Many of the fines and penalties imposed by the Regulators are for “not being able to demonstrate that such checks have been undertaken”. With SmartSearch we provide a full audit log of every search undertaken detailing the subject, the processor and a time, date stamp. SmartSearch is also unique in its ability to provide an “Alerts Service” that triggers an alert to the Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) when high risk Sanctions (SDN & Terrorist) or Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) or Deceased warnings have been encountered. This allows your MLRO to retain control of the enhanced due diligence process ensuring your Business is protected and compliant.
Please contact us to discuss how we can help with your customer verification.