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KYC

When we launched PleaseBeInformed.com, one of our fundamental principles of design was that only those who we had taken reasonable steps to identify and verify would be permitted to post, even to comment. That decision was at the heart of our plan to charge a small annual membership fee, paid by credit card. While American-based social media networks spread across the world with more and more fraudulent accounts, China, it is reported, is taking steps to combat the use of social media for financial and "news" fraud, for that is what fake news and scurrilous social media comment is, at their heart.

Editorial Staff
Publication: 

The US Department of Justice has charged four men from a district of California known as "the Inland Empire" with a range of tax offences that, it is alleged, generated substantial revenue by making false tax claims in the names of innocent individuals. It's time governments started doing effective KYC.

There's a lot of talk about KYC when accounts are opened but a general lack of concern over accounts once they are established. The director of a company in liquidation has pleaded guilty to a fraud that could only have taken place because someone wasn't paying enough attention.

Editorial Staff
BIScom Subsection: 

Scenario: a prospective customer walks into your office, shakes hands with you and sits down. You look at his clothes, his bag, even his shoes. You check his haircut, his facial hair, if he has any. You even sniff to see if he smells and, if so, of what. You check out his shoes. You listen to his voice, the accent, inflection, the tone. You analyse the skin on his fingers and palm when you shake hands. You look at his fingernails and, even the way that he sits. And you form a view. But did you know that, subconsciously, there is something else that has influenced you, from the moment you looked at him when he walked through the door? New research says there was.

Reports that Australian banks are going to co-operate on KYC information are welcome but fall far short of the ideal. Also, conceptually, it's been tried before, and failed. We know: we covered one such attempt in WMLR Vol 5 No 3 in November 2003.

The stories of people using genuine documents with false details are legion. But this one has a twist, as they say in TV land.

Yes, yes, yes, we all know: HSBC is officially a UK bank except we all know it isn't. Not really. Yes, it has a big office in London and because of Stock Market rules its big bosses all have desks there but in truth, HSBC is still what it says on the tin. Even the Shanghai bit is coming back into use. So when HSBC in Hong Kong announced that it is starting to collect more detailed Know Your Customer information, it's good to take notice. And one reason it's good to take notice is that almost every other bank in the world is going to have to follow the HSBC lead as Compliance/Risk Management decisions inform business direction. And if they don't, they face appearing on a new OECD blacklist, an OFAC list and many more.

Andrew Peter Panayiotides, an employee, no longer with the company, of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in Australia has been banned from providing financial advice for "failing to act in the best interests of clients." The regulator, ASIC, has specifically drawn attention to the incentives structure. Are there also hidden messages about Know Your Customer?

Editorial Staff
BIScom Subsection: 

The Law Society's Gazette is reporting that Mischon de Reya, a London law firm has been ordered to pay damages to its client which purchased a property from a fraudster. The case is going to appeal. Nigel Morris-Cotterill looks at the first instance judgment of a case that has enormous implications for KYC/Due Diligence for financial institutions. Part 1.

Mariyah Chernykh, 26, gives her address as in Ontario, Canada but she is a Russian citizen. She and several others have pleaded guilty to a fraud that ties her and several others to a murderous attack on an in-house seminar being conducted in San Bernardino, California. The case demonstrates that assessment of suspicion should not be based on obvious, close, circumstances and the relevance of Know Your Customer rather than the narrow aspects of so-called Customer Due Diligence.

Editorial Staff

 

Take a moment to slow down so you can understand the scale of this: the Australian Federal Police have seized a shipment of cocaine that is 1,100 kilos.

Let's put that into perspective: bags of sugar come in 500 or 1,000 gramme packs. Imagine walking home from the supermarket carrying ten big bags.

Now imagine trying to get 110 times that past customs on the way out of a country, then on the way into another and to avoid detection at various way points in between. A diverse and difficult to identity group very nearly managed it.

 

Editorial Staff

Artur Samarin is a name that will (or should) live on in the annals of infamy as someone who simply sidestepped all government and other identity checks to move to and openly live in the USA for four years.

 


 

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