Anti-money laundering consulting

Legal compliance with anti-money laundering rules (“AML”) is the basis of every business connected to financial transactions. The regulation in this field is becoming ever stricter and the scope of entities required to implement measures to prevent money laundering is expanding. Consequently, the risk of non-compliance is increasing, which is reflected in companies’ exposure to potential financial and other sanctions imposed by regulators (“compliance risk”).

 

Companies are facing challenges regarding the establishment of internal processes, drafting internal acts (guidelines, manuals, politics), questions about transferring part of the processes of customer due diligence (“know your customer” or “KYC”) to external providers. Individual processes or a complete system of measures to prevent money laundering must often be harmonized in communication with competent regulators. Some states require special licenses from the companies.

Notranji procesi v povezavi z ukrepi za preprečevanje pranja denarja se v največji meri nanašajo na ukrepe skrbnega pregleda strank ob vzpostavitvi poslovnega razmerja in na ukrepe spremljanja poslovanja strank po sklenitvi poslovnega razmerja. Proces skrbnega pregleda stranke obsega identifikacijo stranke, verifikacijo stranke ter preverjanje raznih podatkovnih baz, za potrebe ocene tveganosti stranke (t.i. »AML screening«). Podjetje mora vzpostaviti procese za opravljanje verifikacije strank, ki je glede na profil tveganosti stranke lahko poenostavljen ali poglobljen. Poseben proces verifikacije je potreben za stranke, ki so politično izpostavljene osebe ali ki so glede na profil tveganosti bolj tvegane stranke. Verifikacija se lahko opravi fizično ali oddaljeno. Nekateri procesi so lahko popolnoma avtomatizirani, drugi morajo biti vsaj v delu ročni. Proces skrbnega pregleda stranke se lahko delno ali v celoti prenese na zunanjega izvajalca. Določiti je potrebno osebo (pooblaščenca), ki je v podjetju odgovorna za izvajanje ukrepov za preprečevanje pranja denarja. 

Politika preprečevanja pranja denarja je najpomembnejši interni dokument podjetja s področja preprečevanja pranja denarja. Dokument vsebuje opis procesa skrbnega pregleda stranke, opredelitev pristojnosti pooblaščenca za pranje denarja, oceno tveganj, opis ukrepov za spremljanje poslovanja strank, način poročanja regulatorju. Ta dokument je vedno potrebno predložiti banki pri odpiranju poslovnega računa podjetja. V nekaterih primerih regulator zahteva tudi pripravo drugih notranjih dokumentov s področja preprečevanja pranja denarja, npr. priročnikov za zaposlene, kako ravnati v določenih primerih.

Zakonodaja s področja preprečevanja pranja denarja dovoljuje, da se v določenih primerih in pod določenimi pogoji, del procesa skrbnega pregleda stranke in proces spremljanja poslovanja stranke prenese na zunanjega izvajalca. Na trgu je precej tovrstnih ponudnikov storitev, ki se razlikujejo v načinu izvajanja svojih storitev in v strukturi zaračunavanja svojih storitev. Morebitni »outsourcing« je zato potrebno prilagoditi poslovnemu modelu naročnika.

Zakonske določbe, ki zavezancem nalagajo vzpostavitev celovitega sistema ukrepov za preprečevanje pranja denarja, so v nekaterih delih precej ohlapne in dopuščajo določeno mero diskrecije. Da se zagotovi skladnost s temi določbami, je pogosto potrebna neposredna komunikacija z regulatorji. V določenih državah (npr. Estonija) pa je potrebno pred začetkom opravljanja dejavnosti pridobiti posebno licenco, ki potrjuje skladnost poslovanja podjetja z zakonodajo, ki ureja področje preprečevanja pranja denarja.

Establishment of internal processes

Internal processes in connection with measures to prevent money laundering mostly relate to measures of customer due diligence when establishing a business relationship and to measures of monitoring the business operations of the customers after entering into a business relationship.

Customer due diligence process involves customer identification, customer verification and checking databases for the purpose of customer risk assessment (“AML screening”). Companies must establish processes for performing customer verification, which, depending on the client's risk profile, can be simplified or in-depth. A special verification process is needed for customers that are politically exposed or customers of designated higher risk based on their risk profile. Verification can be done physically or remotely. Some processes are completely automated, while others are required to be manual at least in part. The customer due diligence process may be partially or fully transferred to an external contractor. It is necessary to designate a person (representative) who is responsible for the implementation of anti-money laundering measures within a company.

Drafting documentation

Anti-money laundering policy is the most important internal document from the field of money laundering prevention. Said document contains the description of customer due diligence, definition of the competences of a money laundering prevention representative, risk assessment, a description of measures to monitor customer operations and the method of reporting to the regulator. This document must always be submitted to the bank when opening a company’s business account. In some cases, the regulator also requires drafting of other internal documents from the field of money laundering prevention, e.g. manuals for employees on how to handle certain cases.

Transfer of parts of the process to external contractors

Anti-money laundering legislation permits, in certain cases and under certain conditions, to transfer part of the customer due diligence process and process of monitoring the client’s business to an external contractor. There are quite a few of these type of service providers on the market, which differ in the way they perform their services and in the structure of billing for their services. Any outsourcing should therefore be adapted to the client's business model.

Regulators and licences

The legal provisions requiring the relevant entities to establish a comprehensive system of measures to prevent money laundering are, in some respects, rather loose and allow for a certain measure of discretion. To ensure compliance with these provisions, direct communication with the regulators is often required. In some states (e.g. Estonia), a special license has to be acquired prior to commencing an activity to certify compliance of the company’s business with the legislation regulating the field of money laundering prevention.

Fintech Factory offers its clients

consultations related to ensuring legal compliance with AML regulation

consultations related to establishing internal process and partial outsourcing

drafting AML legal documentation

drafting comparative analyses of different AML regulation

compliance check for company’s AML obligations

consultations on the correspondence with competent authorities

consultations and drafting legal documentation in the licensing procedures.