Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Policy
KIRVAN BOND SOLICITORS
Kirvan Bond is committed to ensuring that money laundering and the financing of terrorism do not take place in this business. Kirvan Bond will ensure procedures to be compliant, in accordance with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (as amended) (“POCA”), the Terrorism Act 2000 (as amended) and the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (“the Regulations”). The Regulations reflect the requirements of the 5th EU Anti- Money Laundering Directive and they became operative from the 10 th January 2020.
This Policy has been developed by reference to the requirements of the Regulations.
Although the AML regulations only apply to types of work involving financial or real property transaction, we will still maintain procedures set out in this policy for all client matters. This policy sets out the policies, controls and procedures the firm has put in place to minimise the risks of Money Laundering activity in our business.
We have carried out an extensive assessment of the Money Laundering risks to our business, taking into account:
• Information made available by the Law Society;
• The services we provide;
• The transactions we undertake;
• Countries or geographical areas in which we operate;
• Delivery channels.
The risk assessment will be reviewed at regular and appropriate intervals. This Policy takes into consideration the risks identified in the risk assessment.
Kirvan Bond will adhere to the following protocol for all new instructions received, to assist the process of detecting money laundering activity:
- In all cases where taking on a new client we will need to be satisfied as to the client’s identity and address. If the transaction involves a “beneficial owner” who is not the client, we will also take steps to ensure that we are satisfied as to the identity of the relevant beneficial owner and fully understand the nature and structure for the beneficial ownership arrangement;
- Where a person claims to be acting on behalf of the client (for instance an officer acting on behalf of a company) we will make sure and establish that the person does have authority to act and secondly; take steps to identify and verify the identity of that person;
- On a new transactional case, we need to be satisfied that the relevant transaction is legitimate and that the source of any funds to be used is genuine – this process will involve an assessment of the Money Laundering risks in every case;
- We will not accept payment from third parties on account of our costs or in respect of any particular transaction without providing prior consent. In determining whether consent should be given Kirvan Bond will fully investigate the source of the funds and the reasons why third-party funding is necessary;
- We will not accept instructions to act on behalf of an individual client through a third party in circumstances where we have no contact with the client.
- We will not accept instructions where a proposed client or beneficial owner insists on remaining anonymous;
Client Due Diligence
Under the Regulations we have obligations to:
- Identify all clients and verify their identity;
- Identify beneficial owner (see below) who are not clients and take reasonable measures to verify their identity so that we know who they are and understand the relevant ownership and control structure;
- Obtain information on the purpose and intended nature of every transaction;
- Conduct ongoing monitoring of all transactions. This includes scrutinising transactions (and the source of any funds) and ensuring that they remain consistent with your knowledge of the client, the client’s business and risk profile.
For the purpose of the Regulations a “beneficial owner” is broadly:
- In the case of a body corporate or partnership, an individual who ultimately has control over the management of the entity or an individual who owns or controls (directly or indirectly) more than 25% of the shares or voting rights in the entity;
- In the case of a trust or similar arrangement, each of the settlor, the trustees and the beneficiaries.
Identification of a client or beneficial owner is simply being told or coming to know a client’s or beneficial owner’s identifying details, such as their name, date of birth and address. Verification is obtaining some evidence which supports this claim of identity.
Standard ID and Verification Procedure
Our standard procedures for verifying the identity of individual/corporate/other clients and beneficial owners are as set out below.
Original passports/driving licences/utility bills
Certified copy passports/driving licences/utility bills
Where practical, Kirvan Bond will require that original documentation for proof of identity and ownership is presented in person. Where the client is not physically present, the identification will be checked and certified by a designated trusted third party, such as another local solicitor, to handle this diligence process on our behalf.
Simplified Due Diligence
Whilst the Regulations permit simplified due diligence measures to be applied where there is a low risk of money laundering and terrorist financing, we take the view that our standard identification procedures should be applied in all cases except where enhanced due diligence measures are required (see below).
Enhanced Due Diligence
The Regulations require that we must apply enhanced due diligence measures and enhanced ongoing monitoring of a business relationship in the following circumstances:
- If any case is identified as one where there is a high risk of money laundering or terrorist financing;
- Where high risk third countries are involved;
- Where the client or beneficial owner is a Politically Exposed Person (“PEP”) (See Below);
- Where the client or beneficial owner is a family member or known close associate of a PEP;
- Where false or stolen identification documentation has been provided;
- In any case where the transaction is complex or unusually large, or there is an unusual pattern of transactions and the transaction or transactions have no apparent economic or legal purpose;
- In any other case which, by its nature can present a higher risk of money laundering or terrorist financing.
It is difficult to list every scenario which might prompt us to take the view that there is a greater risk of money laundering or terrorist financing. The following list is not meant to be exhaustive, but it is intended to provide you with an indication of the circumstances where enhanced due diligence measures must be applied:
- Unusually complex transactions;
- Any transaction which involves the payment of cash;
- Any transaction where we receive instructions from a client abroad;
- Any transaction which involves property abroad or payment through our client account of monies from foreign banks;
- Any transaction which involves direct payment between the parties;
- Any transaction which involves a client who is un operative in terms of providing ID verification;
- Transactions where you do not meet the client;
- Situations where there is no obvious or apparent reason for the client using our services;
- Situations where there is no underlying reason for the client paying money into our client account;
- Transactions where there is uncertainty as to the source of any funds;
- Complex corporate or trust structures where it is difficult to ascertain beneficial ownership information;
- Any transaction where you may have concerns about the credibility of the client;
- A transaction at an under or over value;
- Transactions involving circumstances which you consider to be inconsistent with your understanding of the client’s demographic profile and financial position.
Under the Regulations, a PEP means an individual who is entrusted with prominent public functions (in the UK or abroad), other than as a middle-ranking or more junior official. If a person has been a PEP but no longer holds the relevant public function, that person must nevertheless, be treated (for the purpose of this Policy) as a PEP for a period of at least 12 months after he/she ceased to hold the public function.
Kirvan Bond’s procedure for determining whether a client is a PEP or a family member or known close associate of a requires, is to ask the client to provide written details of their public functions and investigate this further as is reasonably necessary.
Confidentiality of Transaction
Clients who instruct solicitors are entitled to expect that their affairs are kept confidential. Kirvan Bond also have a duty, under the SRA Code of Conduct, to keep the affairs of our clients confidential. However, this duty can be overridden in very limited circumstances and these include situations where we have a statutory obligation to report known or suspicious activity to the National Crime Agency, or respond to other authorities, such as the police and the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
In certain circumstances however, where the knowledge or suspicion is acquired in privileged circumstances, a solicitor’s duty to protect a client’s right to privilege will override any duty to report suspicious circumstances.
Retention of Records and Data Protection
Where we obtain documentary evidence of ID from clients, Kirvan Bond are required under the Regulations to retain such evidence for a minimum period of 5 years. This period starts, where there is a single transaction, when the transaction has been concluded or, in the case of ongoing retainers, when our business relationship with the client terminates.
For the purpose of protecting the personal data of our clients, all such data obtained, for the purpose of complying with the Regulations, may only be used for the purpose of preventing money laundering or terrorist financing.
Date: 30th January 2020
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