AML & KYC POLICY
Please read this Policy carefully before accessing, browsing, creating an Account or using the Website and/or any of our Products or Services. It is intended for the reader of this Policy to have an understanding before accessing the Website or participating in our Services and Products. Your access to and use of the Website, Services, Products, Community and Platforms is conditioned on your understanding of, acceptance and on-going compliance with this Policy.
Definition of Money Laundering
- The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 legislation prevents and combats money laundering. This legislation together with regulations, rules and industry guidance form the foundation of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing obligations outlined for firms.
- Additional offences incorporate the failure to disclose knowledge or suspicion of money laundering to necessary parties such as a Money Laundering Reporting Officer. The failure of a MLRO to report suspicious activities to the National Crime Agency and the “tipping off” of any such party suspected of engaging in Money Laundering Offences in such a way as to reduce the likelihood of them being investigated or prejudicing an investigation.
- Money laundering offences are a criminal activity and include the transfer, disguise and exchange of illegally obtained property (POCA 2002). Engaging in the arrangement or knowledge of suspicious acquisitions, use and control of criminal property by or on behalf of persons using or possessing criminal assets (POCA 2002).
- Money laundering is defined as the process of moving illegally obtained capital through financial systems so that it appears to come from a legitimate source.
Definition of Terrorist Financing
- All Users must adhere to the Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLRs), and be aware of the guidance set down by the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG) which provides guidelines on how firms should conduct Due Diligence on their Users, and the recommendations from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body whose purpose is the development and promotion of national and international policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
- Terrorist Financing can be defined as: 'the willful provision or collection, by any means, directly or indirectly, of funds with the intention that the funds should be used, or in the knowledge that they are to be used, in order to carry out terrorist acts.'
- This policy outlines by what method the Company directors, staff and employees should raise concerns, by reporting suspicious activity to the MLRO. Employees actively investigate discrepancies and suspected money laundering activities, raising concerns throughout the organisation and reporting to the relevant authority.
- The Company has chosen to comply with all mentioned legislative agendas and procedures to fully comply with AML legislation for a regulated industry. This approach reflects the Companies predisposition that its services should not facilitate or engage in any kind of Money Laundering activities and not to be used by criminals to launder proceeds of crime.
- Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency is not currently defined or classified within the current AML/CTF legislation, though this is subject to change and review under laws as new Money Laundering Directives are implemented alongside further regulation.
- In an effort to counter money laundering and other illegal activity, we have decided not to support any cash transactions, regardless of their stated purpose. Our firm has the right to cancel or deny a transaction at any point if there are suspicions regarding its legality.
- If the User is proven of committing money laundering, he is responsible for any damage or loss which may occur, and the Company is excluded from his fraudulent actions.
- The User’s failure to comply with the regulations set by the Company would mean termination of the account.
- All of monetary transactions, to the best knowledge of the Company shall be free from any form of money laundering and terrorist activities. The Company operates with integrity and is committed to implementing the measures established.
- The Companies business activities including the facilitation of the trading and broking of Cryptocurrencies, is currently not a regulated industry under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
- Staff compliance with this policy will be monitored on a regular basis to ensure that the Company remains compliant with AML laws and regulations.
- Updates to the policy will be communicated to staff as they become available.
- This policy is available for review by all staff. Each staff member must read it and become familiar with its contents.
- Further training will be provided when required by changes to the company policy or laws and directives.
- The completion of training is compulsorily, all new employees will receive training as part of their induction process.
- Training is completed through an online course covering; the laws relating to money laundering and terrorist financing, our policy and procedures & guidance detecting money laundering and terrorist financing activities.
- All relevant staff dealing in business operations will receive AML training.
- Risk Management practices.
- Monitoring compliance to its policies, control and procedures,
- The keeping of records over an indefinite period,
- Internal controls in relation to its senior management and staff members,
- Provide on-going examination for suspicious activity and/or transactions,
- Know Your Customer Verifications and when required enhanced customer due diligence,
- The Company is committed to establishing and maintaining policies, controls and procedures that mitigate the risks of money laundering. Our policies are reviewed frequently and cover the following measures;
Money Laundering Reporting Officer
- The Company will appoint a Money Laundering Reporting Officer to be responsible for Anti-money laundering efforts and reviewing all disclosures about potential money laundering activity.
- The Money Laundering Reporting Officer will ensure that suitable training and awareness is provided to new and existing staff and that this is reviewed and updated as required.
- The Money Laundering Reporting Officer will review suspicious activity and if required submit a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) to the National Crime Agency (NCA).
- User transactional process and patterns will be subject to ongoing analysis.
- The Company performs a variety of compliance-related tasks, including capturing data, filtering, record-keeping, investigation management, and reporting.
- The Company relies on data analysis as a risk-assessment and suspicious activity detection tool.
Risk Assessment and Risk Management Practices
- The Company considers the risks associated with the following demographics: Countries or Geographical areas, Products or Services required, Nature of Transactions and Delivery Channels, Willingness to comply when prompted for additional information.
- Regulation 18 (1) of the 2017 Regulations Act requires firms to take measures when identifying and assessing the risks of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.
- Personal data is only to be used by the Company for verifying Users and for the prevention of money laundering, fraud or terrorist financing.
- Regulation 40 of the 2017 Regulations Act requires firms to hold copies of all documentation obtained from a customer. Documentation will be retained for at least 5 years and will be; reviewed, updated & securely deleted when necessary.
Politically Exposed Persons
Politically Exposed Persons, or PEP, are defined in Regulation 35 of the 2017 Regulations. PEPs are defined as individuals entrusted with prominent public functions, such as heads of state, members of government, members of government bodies and ambassadors as well as members of their close family. PEPs are classified to carry higher risks of Money Laundering so enhanced due diligence is required at both the on boarding process and on an ongoing basis.
- Their liquid assets including cash and investment portfolio.
- Where the Company identifies a prospective customer as a PEP or of political exposure, the individual cannot be on boarded without the consent from the AMLRO & managing director. In addition, the prospective customer will be required, at the on boarding stage to provide information, with supporting evidence of their source of wealth;
- Their current salary and other income,
Transfer of Funds
- In case there is any discrepancy on a transaction, the Company reserves the right to automatically cancel or suspend the transaction.
- The Company will automatically refuse any third-party transfers towards one of our Clients.
- Third parties are forbidden to conduct the transaction in replace of the User.
- Money transfers from another party other than the account holder is strictly prohibited.
- When transferring money for purchasing Cryptocurrencies, the sender’s name and the information held on file, should match.
- The Company will not engage in any business activity with any individual, group or entity found to be on either the US or EU sanctions lists.
- The US Office of Foreign Assets of Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury publishes lists of individuals and companies owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, targeted countries. It also lists individuals, groups, and entities, such as terrorists and narcotic traffickers designated under programs that are not country-specific.
- The European External Action Service publishes a consolidated list of EU financial sanctions and list of persons, groups and entities subject to EU financial sanctions.
Know Your Customer (“KYC”) Policy
- The KYC procedure is a requirement in order to comply with the International law provisions, including the ones designed to prevent money laundering. The following should be followed unless an amendment is sent from the Compliance Department stating otherwise.
- User due diligence has become one of the international standards for preventing illegal activity
- The Company has implemented its own verification procedures within the strict standards of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing procedures.
- Customer due diligence is required under Regulation 27(1) of the 2017 Regulations when The Company is establishing a business relationship with a customer.
- The Company will not engage in business activity with those who have not complied with the policy set out hereafter or staff suspect of potential Money Laundering.
- The Company reserves the right to verify the identity of the User on an ongoing basis, especially when its identification information has been changed or its activities appear suspicious, unusual for a particular User.
- The Company reserves the right to request from the Users current documents, even if they have been authenticated in the past.
- Photographed documentation showing full name which corresponds to the name in which the customer account is being opened. Acceptable documentation included:
- Driving license (if contains photograph of individual)
- National ID Card (if contains photograph of individual)
- Identity: All requested Identity documents should comply with the following standards:
- The document is valid and shows the issue and expiry date,
- The photograph is clear, and all features are visible,
- The page showing signature is included,
- The place of issue and passport number details are included and are clearly legible,
- Nationality details are included.
- All documentation must be from a recognised or verifiable provider. In addition, The Company reserves the right to request additional professional references for KYC purposes at its absolute discretion.
- Proof of Address: Proof of address which clearly shows the name of the customer opening the account (documents showing joint names are acceptable). Acceptable documentation include;
- A Valid, full driving license from country origin of application,
- Utility bill such as gas, water or electricity,
- A Mobile phone bill or contract is not acceptable,
- Television license or subscription,
- Home or motor insurance policy document or certificate,
- Bank or building society statement from a reputable financial institution,
- Council tax (or equivalent) bill.
- All documentation must be from a recognised or verifiable provider.
- The Company reserves the right to request additional professional references for KYC purposes at its absolute discretion.
Companies and Corporate Entities
- In addition to passing the “Individuals” KYC requirements, when receiving a payment from a business or corporate account the Company requires additional documentation including but not limited to each of the following:
- Certificate of incorporation and memorandum and articles of association,
- Latest statutory report and accounts,
- Current shareholder and director registers,
- Resolution of the Board of Directors to open an account and identification of those who have authority to operate the account,
- Full CDD documentation on each director (see “individuals”),
- Full CDD documentation on each ultimate beneficial owner of more than 20% of the company’s share capital.
- Full CDD on all individual partners (see “individuals”)
- Copy partnership deed
- Registration certificate or any business registration document (such as a tax registration document, including VAT certificate)
- In addition to passing the “Individuals” KYC requirements, when receiving a payment from a business or corporate account for a Partnership the Company requires additional documentation including but not limited to each of the following:
Retention of Customer Due Diligence Documentation
- Documentation previously supplied has since expired.
- A New KYC policy is implemented, The Company may ask customer reverify through new policy procedures.
- Every 3 years following the initial verification of the customer
- Refreshed Customer Due Diligence: The Company will request new KYC documentation to be provided by the customer in the following circumstances:
- In accordance with 2017 Regulation (40), the Company will retain copies of all provided documentation regarding the on boarding and verification of a customer. The Company will retain such copies indefinitely for a period of time from the first initial contact and exchange with the customer. Such documentation and personal data will only be used for internal compliance purposes.
Ongoing Customer Due Diligence
- Regulation 27(8) of the 2017 Regulation states that where appropriate the Company must conduct ongoing Customer Due Diligence on existing customers.
- Any User activity outside the normal or expected activity should be considered as unusual and should be investigated. Understanding the client profile is crucial to assessing potential indicators of suspicious activities.
- An investigation into suspicious activity should establish the true motivation behind the activity in question. This may result in the confirmation of suspicious activity or remove all reasonable doubt.
- If suspicious activity is confirmed it must be reported to the MLRO and failure to do so is an offence that could result in imprisonment.
- The Company operates a risk-based approach and uses all available qualitative or quantitative data available when reviewing customer activity and will be required where:
- The known circumstances of an existing customer which are relevant to an assessment of the risk of Money Laundering or Terrorist Financing have changed.
- A User requesting transactions that are not consistent with the Company knowledge or experience of that User.
- The purpose or intended nature of the Company relationship with the User has changed for any reason.
- A User engages in unusual patterns of trading inconsistent with historic trading patterns.
- Anything which raises suspicions in relation to a User should be reported to the MLRO immediately.
- Potential issues to be aware of include but are not limited to:
- Where the identity of the holding bank account from which funds are sent from the Company does not match the name of the User which the Company has on file.
- Where such funds are received, no trade will take place and the Company will immediately request information from the User regarding the transfer and information referred to the MLRO & managing director.
- Where money is suspected to be involved in Money Laundering or Terrorist Financing, money should not be immediately returned to the customer as it may alert the customer that Anti-Money Laundering is suspected thus exposing The Company and its staff to criminal liability under the “tipping off” offence under POCA.
- Where an account has significantly increased activity amid relatively dormant periods. The Company will request an explanation and evidence relating to the activity in question be provided. Approval from the MLRO must be received before any trade is authorised.
- Where customers refuse or are unwilling or deceptive in providing explanations of their financial activity or their explanation is assessed to be untrue. The Company will cease to provide services and or payments of any kind. The MLRO will report any activity deemed suspicious to the relevant authority.
- Where the currency, country or nationality is commonly associated with international crime or identified as having serious deficiencies in their AML regimes.
- The Company may choose to terminate the account and cease trading, reporting its findings to relevant authorities.
- Where The Company is being asked to accept Cash to trade with. The Company operates under a strict no cash policy.
Source of Funds Requests
- Trades exceeding the AML threshold will require additional documentation as to the source of funds before transactions can be made.
- Any trade from a PEP User,
- Any trade from a Non-PEP User with a fiat value in excess of $20,000.
- Users are required to provide confirmation of source of funds and should provide the following:
- An explanation of where the funds for the trade in question have originated from (savings, salary, inheritance, sale of assets)
- Documentary evidence to back up the User’s specific claim such as; Copy of bank statements, investment account records, solicitor or accountants letter confirming source of funds.
- The managing director should be consulted in each source of funds request, following receipt of relevant documentation, their consent must be obtained before any trade may take place.
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