EU legislation changes lead to AML Search v4

In line with the changes in UK law in relation to the European Union’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (EU4MLD), AML Search v4 will be released soon.

AML Search v4 builds upon AML Search v2’s data analytics to include fully automated Risk Assessments, Compliance Reporting, conflict checking, documentary evidence management, on-going monitoring and automated record keeping.

Here, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions to help you understand exactly what these changes and implications mean for your firm:

What do the regulations mean? 

• There is no longer an automatic exemption from undertaking Enhanced Due Diligence

If, like many firms, you simply take a copy of a Client’s identity documents, your procedures and processes are likely to have to change significantly to be able demonstrate your compliance with the new regulations and laws. 

The regulations are clear – there is no longer an automatic exemption from undertaking Enhanced Due Diligence, as opposed to Simplified Due Diligence, which has often been carried out by simply obtaining a copy of a Client’s Identity documents, for example a Passport and Driving License. 

• Firms will be required to evidence they have identified the Client and screened them against alert sources

After 26th June, you will need to demonstrate compliance by being able to evidence that you have risk assessed clients in accordance with the regulatory requirements. Therefore, clients who would have previously been on-boarded using Simplified Due Diligence must be Risk Assessed, with a minimum requirement of documenting and confirming the Clients Identity and electronically screening them for Financial Sanctions and Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) – including UK nationals.

• Additional requirements for on-going due diligence monitoring

There are additional requirements for the period of time that your firm will have to be able to demonstrate and deliver up to regulators your compliance records in relation to specific clients, on-going due diligence monitoring and how long records may be kept. 

What are the penalties for failing to comply?

The penalties for failing to comply with obligations under the new regulations have been increased. 

In addition to penalties that can be imposed by regulators and other legislation, the Policing and Crime Act 2017 has increased fines up to £1,000,000 and prison sentences from 2 to 7 years; where ‘the person has breached a prohibition, or failed to comply with an obligation, that is imposed by or under financial sanctions legislation’. 

Click here for more information about the European Union’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (EU4MLD)

How does AML Search v4 support compliance?

• Regulatory Compliance

AML Search v4 has been designed to meet and exceed Anti-Money Laundering compliance requirements including but not limited to;

• Fourth European Money Laundering Directive (EU 4MLD)

• United Kingdom Money Laundering Regulations/Laws

• Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG)

• The Law Society

• The Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA)

• Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

• International Bar Association (IBA)

• Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

• Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML)

• Sarbanes–Oxley

• Risk Assessments

Regulations make it mandatory for firms to carry out Risk Assessments on their Clients as a part of their Client Due Diligence (CDD).

AML Search v4 automates Customer Due Diligence Risk Assessments to enable your users to simply and quickly enter Client data, include documentary evidence and carry out a Risk Assessment and Simplified or Enhanced Due Diligence in a few minutes.

• The CDD Record

AML Search v4 introduces a unified view of your Client Due Diligence (CDD). Both Individual (Personal) and Organisations (Non-Personal) CDD records are contained in one fully searchable view.

The CDD record for a Client contains your Risk Assessments, Client Data, Documentary Evidence, and Client Relationships – which aids in your conflict checking and provides a complete audit trail, making it easy to evidence your regulatory compliance.

Click here for more information about AML Search v4 

Are existing AML v2 Searches compliant?

Yes. 

AML Search v2 provides Enhanced Customer Due Diligence Searches which are fully compliant with the new regulations. There are however other changes that you need to consider including how you will carry out Risk Assessments, On-Going CDD, record keeping and reporting in order to demonstrate your firm’s compliance.

Can I continue to use AML Search v2?

Yes. 

It is recommended that you review your Risk Assessment procedures in line with the new regulations. The regulations stipulate that there is no longer an exemption from Enhanced Due Diligence. Therefore, clients who would have previously been on-boarded using Simplified Due Diligence must be Risk Assessed, with a minimum requirement of documenting and confirming the Clients Identity and electronically screening them for Financial Sanctions and Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) – including UK nationals. 

AML Search v2 already provides all of the features for enhanced CDD with the exception of documented Client Risk Assessments which must be carried out manually by firms if using AML Search v2 – AML Search v4 provides fully automated Risk Assessments.

Should I review our Risk Assessment Criteria and Procedures?

Yes. 

There are significant changes in the regulations as to how you are required to Risk Assess your Clients, carry out On-going Due Diligence, how quickly firms must demonstrate their compliant procedures and how long records can be kept.

Why should I upgrade from AML Search v2 to AML Search v4?

AML Search v4 extends the features of AML Search v2 adding robust compliance tools to reduce the time and cost to firms of implementing, maintaining and running compliant AML procedures. 

These include automated Client Risk Assessments, Simplified and Enhanced Due Diligence for individuals and organisations (UK and International). 

This means that you can complete the process of carrying out a Risk Assessment and Customer Due Diligence by running an AML v4 Risk Assessment, ensuring you can demonstrate compliant procedures across all users. 

AML Search v4 also includes your real-time compliance status and reporting, on-going due diligence monitoring, which ensures your client due diligence is always up-to-date, document, file and archive management to ensure you meet the new record keeping criteria.

With thanks to Greg Roach, Director of Searches Group Limited

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