As I may have mentioned in passing, I have been busy recently writing books on AML for NEDs (aka the pig in shades). One of the many pleasures of this project (well, come on – you knew I was AML-batty already – why are you surprised?) is that it has forced me to go Back to Basics for all four jurisdictions (UK, Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man) and really close-read the legislation to make sure that I am saying exactly the right thing. This comparison has thrown up some interesting differences, which will provide fodder for blog posts to come, but one particular issue has been exercising me today – not least because someone asked me just this question last week.
It’s to do with record-keeping – stay with me, it gets better. You have to keep due diligence and other records about your clients until a certain period (generally five years) has passed “after the end of your relationship with the client”. It all sounds so neat and easy, doesn’t it? But when is the end of a relationship? Teenagers have enough trouble with this, although finding your boyfriend in a clinch with your best friend is often a good indicator. But what about the poor old MLRO? How does he know when it’s all over? Sometimes the client will kindly close their account, putting a clear full-stop to the relationship, but more commonly they just drift away. They stop calling, they never send flowers – but they never actually tell you it’s finished. So when do you start counting?