Preparing you for due diligence
Positive obligations are imposed on banks, estate agents, property developers, investment firms and other professional persons to be satisfied of the source of a person’s wealth. The need to provide comprehensive information on wealth can be an essential step to the securing of a bank account, new property or investment in the UK. For professional persons and companies required to undertake proportionate Customer Due Diligence (CDD) or Know Your Client (KYC) checks as part of the UK’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) framework, either in relation to a particular client or a large group of clients, a question mark can sometimes arise as to whether the CDD undertaken is sufficient or whether more enquiries should be made.
Relatedly, there are wide-ranging powers in UK legislation to seize and freeze property pending the provision by a person of satisfactory information as to the source of his or her funds or other property. One such example is the power of the court to impose an Unexplained Wealth Order on an individual requiring him or her to explain his wealth but other powers such as cash forfeiture, account forfeiture and listed asset forfeiture powers often in practice also require explanation of how that asset or money came to be held. The provision of such information can also be essential to successful dealings with the UK’s enforcement authorities.
At Bright Line Law, we are experts on AML, source of wealth matters, KYC and CDD. We regularly advise regulated professionals on their firm’s obligations and discrete client matters. We also advise individuals, including those with a high profile, who are or may be Politically Exposed Persons or who are high net worth, who wish to ensure that their source of wealth or funds is able to withstand scrutiny. We can be instructed to advise on CDD, AML requirements as well as by regulated professionals, individuals and firms to put together comprehensive source of wealth packages for use in AML CDD, dealings with financial and other institutions, broader due diligence enquiries and investigations by UK and international authorities. We can also proactively prepare source of wealth packages in anticipation of any future matters or exposure or for use in CDD.
Alongside the above, Bright Line Law is well placed to act on behalf of individuals, including Politically Exposed Persons, and companies in making submissions to challenge adverse assertions appearing on CDD compliance databases and open-source online material published, for instance, by business and financial news companies. Assertions, for example, that an individual is linked to a particular person, is a PEP or is linked to an investigation can impact access to financial institutions and professional services in the UK and worldwide and they can be successfully challenged in order to restore a person’s reputation and financial access. Our approach is responsive and thorough as, at every step of the way, we know what to look for.