All about prepositions

On 11 September 2016 (following industry consultation that said that current CDD requirements are too burdensome), the Australian Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Rules Amendment Instrument 2016 (No. 1) came into force, amending Chapter 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Rules Instrument 2007 (No.1).  Chapter 4 sets out the minimum requirements in relation to customer identification and verification, and used to say that reporting entities were required to collect KYC information directly “from” a customer.  The amendment says that now they can collect KYC information “about” a customer.

This change has generated quite a few AML column inches in Australia, and it made me go back and look at the specific wording of other legislation.  In the UK, our Money Laundering Regulations 2007 state that CDD measures include “identifying the customer and verifying the customer’s identity on the basis of documents, data or information obtained from a reliable and independent source”.  (The exact same wording is used in Gibraltar’s Proceeds of Crime Act 2015.)  In Guernsey, the Criminal Justice (Proceeds of Crime) Regulations, 2007 require that “the customer shall be identified and his identity verified using identification data”.  And the Money Laundering (Jersey) Order 2008 defines “identification of a person” as “(a) finding out the identity of that person, including that person’s name and legal status; and (b) obtaining evidence, on the basis of documents, data or information from a reliable and independent source, that is reasonably capable of verifying that the person to be identified is who the person is said to be and satisfies the person responsible for the identification of a person that the evidence does establish that fact”.

In short, based on this very limited sample, it is only the Australians who bother much with a preposition – changing “from” to “about”.  Everyone else seems not to worry about the source of the documents, as long as they are reliable, independent and verifiable.

This entry was posted in AML, Legislation, Money laundering and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to All about prepositions

  1. says:

    Susan this is an excellent point. It would not be much point if all the documents were sourced only from the client. There has to be an element of scepticism on the part of the designated person at all times.

    • Welcome to the blog, John, and thank you for your comment. You’re absolutely right: in the same way as people can’t self-certify their own documents (which would be madness!), it makes sense to gather (or confirm) some of their information from more objective sources.
      Best wishes from Susan

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