ANTI MONEY LAUNDERING POLICY

BACKGROUND

These are the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Policy and Procedures adopted by Avv. Colin Jamieson/Taxing.It (the Firm) in compliance with applicable Money Laundering Regulations.  The Firm will actively prevent and take measures to guard against being used as a medium for money laundering activities and terrorism financing activities and any other activity that facilitates money laundering, the funding of terrorist or other criminal activities.

To these ends:

  • The identities of all new and existing clients will be verified to a reasonable level of certainty.
  • A risk-based approach will be taken to the monitoring of client tax and accounting affairs.
  • Any suspicious or potentially illegal activity will be recorded and reported to the authorities;
  • Avv. Colin Jamieson will act as the Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) to coordinate the AML policies and procedures of the Firm;
  • All staff or agents of the Firm that meet or contact clients and potential clients of this firm are required to acknowledge that the policy and procedures have been read and understood before meeting or contacting clients;

CUSTOMER DUE DILIGENCE

The business has established a Know-Your-Client (KYC) policy to ensure that the identities of all new and existing clients are verified to a reasonable level of certainty. This will include all individual clients, all directors and shareholders with a stake holding of 25% or more of client or prospective client companies, all partners of client partnerships, and every board member of client charities. Identities will be verified either online or face-to face or by a combination of both.  Alternatively identities may be verified by an independent professional individual or firm situated abroad or by a foreign government authority.

The following documentation must be presented by the individual intending to become a client:
Either a passport, driver’s license, or government issued document featuring a matching photograph of the individual, and a full name and date of birth matching those provided.
An original recent utility bill, or government issued document with the same and address matching those provided by the individual.
Any government issued document that provides the date of birth, NI or Tax number or other such government identifier.

Other forms of identity confirmation, such as evidence of a long standing relationship with the client, or a letter of assurance from and reliable persons or organisations, who have dealt with the client for some time, may also provide a reasonable level of certainty.
If the business fails to verify the identity of a client with reasonable certainty it will not establish a business relationship or proceed with the transaction. If a potential or existing client either refuses to provide the information described above when requested, or appears to have intentionally provided misleading information, the business shall refuse to commence a business relationship or proceed with the transaction requested.

RISK ASSESSMENT AND ONGOING MONITORING

The business shall take a risk-based approach in monitoring the financial activities of its clients. This will be carried out whilst preparing the accounts or tax returns, or conducting any other business with the client.

The business will actively not accept high-risk clients that are identified as follows:

  • Clients with businesses that handle large amount of cash (i.e. involving 15,000 euro or more, or the sterling equivalent) or complex unusually large transactions;
  • Clients with regular large (over 15,000 euro if involving cash, otherwise one hundred thousand euro) one-off transactions, or a number of transactions carried out by the same customer within a short space of time;
  • Clients with complex business ownership structures with the potential to conceal underlying beneficiaries;
  • Clients based in or conducting business in or through, a high-risk jurisdiction, or a jurisdiction with known higher levels of corruption, organised crime or drug production/distribution.
  • Situations where the source of funds cannot be easily verified;
  • Unusual patterns of transactions that have no apparent economic or visible lawful purpose;
  • Money sent to or received from areas known to have high levels of criminality or terrorist activity;
  • The business will conduct ongoing monitoring of business relationships with customers, to ensure that the documents, date or information held evidencing the customer’s identity are kept up to date.

The following are examples of changes in a client’s situation that may be considered suspicious:

  • A sudden increase in business from an existing customer;
  • Uncharacteristic transactions which are not in keeping with the customer’s known activities;
  • Peaks of activity at particular locations or at particular times;
  • Unfamiliar or atypical types of customer or transaction.

Whenever there is cause for suspicion, the client will be asked to identify and verify the source or destination of the transactions, whether they be individuals or company beneficial owners.
No action need be taken if there is no cause for suspicion.

MONITORING AND MANAGING COMPLIANCE

The MLRO will regularly monitor the following procedures to ensure they are being carried out in accordance with the AML policies and procedures of the business:

  • client identity verification;
  • reporting suspicious transactions;
  • record keeping.

The MLRO will also monitor any developments in the MLR and the requirements of the MLR supervisory body. Changes will be made to the AML policies and procedures of the business when appropriate to ensure compliance.

SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY REPORTING

A Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) will be made to the relevant national crime agency as soon as the knowledge or suspicion that criminal proceeds exist arises and without notice to the client or prospective client of the Firm.  No liability will be accepted by Avv. Colin Jamieson, any of his employees, agents, for any loss or damage howsoever arising, following a SAR.

The MLRO is exclusively responsible for deciding whether or not the suspicion of illegal activity is great enough to justify the submission of a SAR.

RECORD-KEEPING

Records of all identity checks will be maintained for up to 10 years after the termination of the business relationship or 5 years from the date when the transaction was completed. The business will ensure that all documents, data or information held in evidence of Client identity are kept up to date as long as the Client relationship remains in force.

Copies of any SAR, together with any supporting documentation filed will be maintained for 10 years from the date of tiling the SAR.

All records will be handled in confidence, stored securely, and will be capable of being retrieved without undue delay.

TRAINING

All affected employees are provided with training that explains the relevant legislation and regulations 2007, and how they these affect the firm, its clients and its employees.
All affected staff, employees are trained on their responsibilities in relation to money laundering legislation, and are aware of how to identify and deal with transactions that may involve money laundering.

Last updated 1 January 2020

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