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Anti-Money Laundering FAQs

The best way to prevent money laundering is to ensure that the identity of customers is verified. Not only this but any transactions that they make in their bank account is verified and ensured that it is legitimate too. In doing this, they are prevent any shell bank accounts (which can be used for money laundering) from being created and also narrowing the chances that accounts can be used in a way to process dirty money.

The most common red flag in banking that money laundering could be occurring is that a large amount of money comes from private funding for an individual who is running a cash intensive business. Following on from this, the person concerned will not be able to offer a legitimate explanation for where this money came from.

The answer to this is yes. Banks can use transaction monitoring, whereby they monitor the financial activity of a bank account in order to look out for signs of money laundering, terrorism financing and financial crimes too.

Anyone can be a victim of money laundering. However, there is a high level of corruption among public officials. If you are someone who has become a victim of this crime in a personal way are known as money mules.

Black money is another term for dirty money and is when the money has been obtained using illegal methods or through crime. In the most part, black money will be cash rather than digital money.

Money laundering is a financial crime. Therefore, it is seen to be a failure to comply with UK legislation. It is also a criminal offence in the UK and Ireland if you do not comply with obligations under the UK legislation in order to prevent, recognise and report money laundering when it is suspected or discovered.

The most common form of money laundering is known as smurfing or structuring. This is when a criminal will break down a large chunk of money into smaller deposits. These multiple deposits will be spread through a variety o accounts, which helps to avoid any detection and pass through anti-money laundering checks that financial institutions, banks and companies have in place.

The easiest way to describe money laundering is that it takes money that is dirty (which is when it has come from a criminal activity) and cleans it, making sure that it can pass through any checks and be a part of the normal money process.

In order to follow the KYC process you must ensure that you have the right levels of verification. These are ID card verification, face to face verification, document verifications and also biometric verification. These rules should be met in order to limit fraud and keep dirty money out of the banking system.

The term KYB is much the same as KYC however it is Know Your Business rather than customer. These processes have the same key aspects, however, the process is focused on companies and suppliers rather than individuals.

There are three main components of KYC, the first is to ensure that you able to identify your clients and ensure that you see any identification documents that are going to verify their identity.

The second is customer due diligence. This step is when you collect all the available data on the customer. This needs to come from trusted sources and should be an ongoing process.

The third component is enhanced due diligence, if the client is deemed to be a high risk, then these measures are going to be required this will ensure that the money that they are processing is going not coming from criminal activity.

The importance of AML is that it stops or at least deters criminals from finding a way for their dirty money, that is obtained from crime, being taken into the financial system. They use money laundering as a way to clean this money and hide the true source of where the money came from.

The term AML or Anti Money Laundering is the umbrella term that covers the measures, controls and processes that must be put in place in order to meet regulatory requirements. KYC or know your customers is a part of the wider umbrella and covers more specific approaches.

KYC means that you need to be able to identify who your customer is and what their normal behaviours are. Any deviation from this norm, should be a red flag in itself. If the client is new, then your gut instinct from other customers that you have worked with should be a great indicator on whether or not they are legitimate.

There are a number of red flags that businesses and banks can see and then need to look into further. The first is client behaviour. If they have changed their financial advisor a number of times in a short space of time, then this can be a flag. It could also be the case that the client has chosen an advisor who is far away from them in a geographical sense.

If the client asks for short-cuts, or they want the transaction to be dealt with as quickly as possible, then these are also red flags that shouldn’t be ignored.

Another red flag is looking at where the finance comes from, if the source of the finance doesn’t make sense, then there is always a chance that it has come from crime.

One final red flag is the nature of the business that the money has come into, if there are any suspicions that need to be looked into further.

Anti-money laundering is going to apply to businesses that are likely to handle money. This includes accountants, financial service businesses as well as estate agents and solicitors too.

It is down to the banks to check for money laundering and make sure that criminal activity is detected. The most obvious way that this is done is using identity checks. This will include providing your name, your date of birth, your address and any other relevant information that the bank asks for. You may also find that the ban will want to be provided with a variety of ID documents when the account is opened.

There are 5 main money laundering offenses that can be carried out and leave money being identified as dirty money.

The first offence is tax evasion. This is when someone uses an offshore account to avoid declaring their full income level, this means that they don’t have to pay as much tax as they otherwise would. There have been many publicised cases of this in the celebrity world.

The second offence is theft, this is the most straightforward of the crimes. Once the criminal takes the proceeds of the crime and moves them into the economy, this means that it is classed as dirty money and will need to be tracked.

The third offence is fraud, where money is generated through fraudulent behaviour. The money raised will need to be used with the minimal suspicion raised.

Bribery is the fourth offence and comes when there is a threat to the person who is being bribed. This could be physical, but in the most part is a threat of releasing sensitive or damaging information. Bribery happens all around the world and can be an international crime, rather than a local one.

The final one is terrorist financing, which is, as the name suggests, when a terrorist organisation is financed. This is usually through a reversed money laundering process. A main example of this is in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which was financed in this way.

Money that has been obtained from a crime (such as drug trafficking, illegal gambling and extortion) is classed as being dirty money. The money will need to be cleaned in order to ensure that it will be dealt with in the banking process without any suspicion.

It is possible to track money that is classed as being dirty. The bank can use deposit slips and receipts in order to do this. This could be a paper copy or a digital copy depending on how you pay the money in.

The idea of anti-money laundering initiatives is to provide businesses with programmes that are going to help them to protect themselves, their clients and any money that they deal with from crime.

As a business you are going to want to make sure that money laundering is prevented as much as possible. The good news is that there are a number of ways that you can do that.

The first way is to make sure that any AML programme that you have will reflect your business and the day-to-day activities and services that you perform.

The second is to make sure that your money laundering process actually flows in a way that makes sense and offers the most protection. You want any risk assessments that you carry out to drive the policies and procedures that you put in place.

Another tip is to make sure that your plans also cover technology, even if it seems that you don’t use technology as other businesses. That way you are going to have the most cover and be protected as much as possible.

A final tup is to make sure that you regularly review the measures that you have in place. That way you can make sure that you are acting in the right way and that you are following the right regulations and rules. This also means that you can check the resources that you have within your business and ensure that these are at the right level.

If your business carries out any activities that will relate to finances or accountancy, then you should be registered with the HMRC in order to ensure that you meet the anti-money laundering regulations.

Anti-money laundering covers the activities that financial institutions perform in order to ensure that they are compliant with any legal requirements that will monitor and report suspicious activities.

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