PICKUK has developed systems to meet its obligations and risk profile in a risk-based and proportionate manner. Policies and procedures supporting these systems mean that our staff apply the systems consistently and can demonstrate to regulating bodies that processes facilitating compliance are in place. Our Anti Money Laundering policy has been developed to ensure the company, its management and all of our company's employees are committed to complying with legislation and guidelines designed to combat money laundering activity, the funding of terrorist or criminal activity in the territories covered by our services.
WHAT IS MONEY LAUNDERING?
Money laundering is the process by which criminally obtained money or other assets (criminal property) are exchanged for ‘clean’ money or other assets with no obvious link to their criminal origins. Criminal property may take any form, including money or money’s worth, securities, tangible property and intangible property. It also covers money, however come by, which is used to fund terrorism. Money laundering activity includes:
- Acquiring using or possessing criminal property
- Handling the proceeds of crimes such as theft or fraud
- Being knowingly involved in any way with criminal or terrorist property
- Entering into arrangements to facilitate laundering criminal or terrorist property
- Investing the proceeds of crimes in other financial products
- Investing the proceeds of crimes through the acquisition of property/assets
- Transferring criminal property
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
As a payment institution (SPI) PICKUK provides valuable services to individuals, businesses and education establishments as it is largely efficient and cheaper than equivalent services from banks. In common with all financial sectors, there are risks that criminals abuse SPI services to launder money. The company’s management are cognizant of the risks and committed to helping the business and its sector maintain systems that minimise the threat of compliance being exploited by customers. According to the National Crimes Agency (NCA) risks of criminal money laundering include:
- Fraudsters directing victims to SPIs to send money to the perpetrator of the fraud
- Fraudsters sending money though SPIs to their own or other criminal groups to facilitate their crimes
- Criminals using SPIs to dispose of cash and transfer proceeds within their network which may involve the structuring of payments
- Criminals using SPIs as part of a layering scheme to disguise audit trail between victim and criminal groups
- Principal SPIs creating network of agents and false paperwork to disguise the level of criminal cash they bank and remit
- Single SPI with large cash turnover using elements of legitimate remittance activity to hide banking of criminal cash
- Agents who create fake transactions on their Principal SPI system to disguise the banking and remittance of criminal activity
- Agents of Principal SPIs who use their status to hide fraudulent or criminal off record remittance activity
- Use of false identities or extra falsified transactions to cover banking of criminal cash
- SPI setup to service local personal market develop “corporate remittance business” without the associated Anti Money Laundering procedures in place
- The use of cash to fund international third party payments without appropriate CDD (basic assessment of customer identity and profile) and EDD (additional verification is to ensure legitimacy of the transaction) procedures
PICKUK management and staff will be fully conversant with the firm’s AML policy guidelines and continually vigilant of the risks imposed by criminal activity. The company will therefore continually assess its internal systems, procedures, customer identification and transaction verification and early suspicious reporting procedures to maintain AML compliance.
Money laundering legislation applies to all of our employees. Potentially any member of staff could be committing an offence under the money laundering laws if they suspect money laundering or if they become involved in some way and do nothing about it. If any individual suspects that money laundering activity is or has taken place or if any person becomes concerned about their involvement it must be disclosed as soon as possible to the MLNO. Failure to do so may result in being personally liable to prosecution. As part of ensuring compliance, we will:
- Take reasonable steps to establish the identity of any person for whom we provide our services
- Retain identification and transactional documentation as defined in the legislation in the territories in which we operate
- Provide initial and ongoing training to ensure all relevant staff are aware of their personal responsibilities and the anti-money laundering procedures
- Identify clients, monitor, keep records and remain vigilant at all times
- Ensure our Policy is developed and maintained in line with evolving statutory and regulatory obligations from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs
- Complete Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) to notify relevant authority where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence has been committed
- We will ensure the protection of our staff, and safeguard our organisation and reputation against the threat of money laundering
In order to mitigate risk we do NOT:
- Accept cash payments, stipulating interbank digital remittance only
- Conduct business from parties who refuse to provide identification documents or produce misleading information
- Open accounts for virtual entities within or outside its jurisdiction
- Enter into business relationships or execute transactions where details of sender and recipient of funds are unknown or cannot be verified or identified
- Execute accept business from individuals, companies and parties included in the HMRC Consolidated Sanctions list
- Transmit funds to politically exposed persons, their families or associates known to be included in the HMRC Consolidated Sanctions list
We have therefore appointed a Money Laundering Nominated Officer (MLNO) to:
- Maintain strict customer identification procedures to support ‘Know Your Customer’
- Maintain adequate records of transactions
- Implement procedures to enable the reporting of suspicious activity in relevant circumstances
- Update AML policy document in line with the latest legislation
- Educate management and employees on use of internal systems capturing transaction data
- Ensure common principals apply to company’s handling of data in accordance with Data Protection
KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER
It is important for PICKUK to exercise due diligence and take steps to identify customers and third parties including individuals, companies and education establishments by obtaining satisfactory evidence of identity. This can include obtaining one or more of the following:
- Driving Licence
- Passport or national identity card / biometric residence permit
- Birth certificate
- Home address correspondence
- Invoice copies
- Letters or documents proving name, address and relationship
- Letter headed document
- Check websites
- Credit checks
- Meeting or contacting parties and sponsors to verify validity
- Source of funds
- Purpose of transaction
SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY REPORTING
In circumstances where money laundering activity is suspected to be taking place or has taken place, PICKUK staff will disclose this immediately to the Money Laundering Nominated Officer. If, in consultation, reasonable suspicion is confirmed, a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) is completed and submitted to the relevant authority. The SAR will include as much detail as possible including:
- Full available details of the people, companies involved including yourself and other members of staff if relevant
- Full details of transaction and nature of each person’s involvement in the transaction
- Suspected type of money laundering activity or use of proceeds of crime with exact reasons as to why you are suspicious
- The dates of any transactions, where they were undertaken, how they were undertaken and the likely amount of money or assets involved
- Any other information that may help determine correct decision making and accuracy of reporting to the relevant authorities
PICKUK will maintain customer information for a period of five years in order to show that it has complied with the Money Laundering Regulations. This is crucial if there is a subsequent investigation into one of our customers/students or transaction. The types of additional information kept by us can include:
- Customer correspondence
- Student identification evidence
- Photocopies, originals or scanned copies
- Dates of transactions
- Date a business relationship ends
PICKUK is aware of its obligations in respect of international sanctions and expected at all times to be compliant with the international sanctions requirements that apply to Payment Institutions. We are therefore required to ensure that our business transactions are compliant with the latest international sanctions publication by HMRC Consolidated Sanctions List. In order to ensure compliance with international sanctions we operate reasonable and proportionate sanctions due diligence and screening in order to comply with the international sanctions and conduct appropriate due diligence and screening against applicable financial sanctions target lists prior to transaction and have controls in place to ensure that risks related to such persons/entities are not executed.
Our data protection policy sets out our commitment to protecting personal data and how we implement that commitment with regards to the collection and use of personal data. We are committed to:
- Ensuring that we comply with the eight data protection principles of Data Protection Act 1998
- Ensuring that data is collected and used fairly and lawfully
- Processing personal data only in order to meet our operational needs or fulfill legal requirements
- Taking steps to ensure that personal data is up to date and accurate
- Establishing appropriate retention periods for personal data
- Ensuring that data subjects' rights can be appropriately exercised
- Providing adequate security measures to protect personal data
- Ensuring that all staff are made aware of good practice in data protection
- Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully.
- Personal data shall be obtained for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes.
- Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed.
- Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date.
- Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.
- Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under the Data Protection Act 1998.
COMMUNICATION AND TRAINING
We consider our staff members to be the most effective defence against launderers and terrorist financers who would seek to abuse the services provided by our firm. We therefore communicate our AML obligations to our staff and provide the appropriate training on our legal obligations and information on how to recognise and deal with money laundering and terrorist financing risks.
Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised and unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data. Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data.
In compliance with EU Money Laundering Legislation 2007, Terrorism Act 2000, Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and Money Laundering Regulations 2003, this policy aims to ensure that PICKUK, its employees, partners, agents and customers fully appreciate the company’s obligations towards regulation compliance and that the highest standards of due diligence are applied in relation to ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) principles across the board. With legislation broadening, the definition of money laundering and related range of activities now applies to individuals and companies as well as education establishments including colleges and universities.
PICKUK management holds overall responsibility for adhering to Anti Money Laundering regulations in line with latest legislation. The nominated Money Laundering Registered Officer is responsible for maintaining the company’s AML manual up to date.