Online repository gives international banks the opportunity to standardise and simplify due diligence

11 September 2006

Florida International Bankers Association (FIBA) has identified the Bankersalmanac.com Due Diligence Repository, which includes the Wolfsberg Group Anti Money Laundering Questionnaire, as a practical approach to simplify and standardise the collection of due diligence across the industry.

The Repository was developed by Bankersalmanac.com in association with the Wolfsberg Group, an association of twelve global banks, which aims to develop financial services industry standards, and related products, for Know Your Customer, Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing policies. The Repository directly addresses the recommendation made in the Wolfsberg Group's Anti-Money Laundering Principles for Correspondent Banking for a central registry of information.

One of the key documents contained in the Repository is the Wolfsberg Group Anti-Money Laundering Questionnaire. This provides an overview of a financial institution's anti-money laundering policies and practices by asking questions on the internal audit procedures in place, AML training, enhanced due diligence, transaction reporting and monitoring.

Completed questionnaires for international banks are held exclusively within the Bankersalmanac.com Due Diligence Repository, alongside other standard documentation required by banks to conduct due diligence on their counterparties such as bank licences, USA PATRIOT Act Certification, corporate governance information and annual reports.

"Although regulation is increasing, the due diligence task can be made easier," explained Kerry Hewson, Director, Bankersalmanac.com. "The aim is to reduce the need for international banks to request and send duplicate documents to one another, which results in an ineffective use of time and effort.

"There is no charge for banks to include documents in the Due Diligence Repository and, since its introduction 18 months ago, over 9,000 financial institutions have already submitted their documents. We are also aware that some banks are now directing requests for their documents to Bankersalmanac.com's service."

Pat Roth, Executive Director of FIBA, adds: "As an organisation that has long promoted efforts to improve anti money laundering and compliance through our annual AML Compliance Conference and Anti-Money Laundering Institute, we at FIBA believe that tools such as the Wolfsberg AML Questionnaire and the Bankersalmanac.com Repository can help to standardise and simplify international due diligence."

Over 9,000 financial institutions worldwide have taken advantage of the Repository and have submitted the required documents which are:

* Bank Licence
* Corporate Governance Documentation - (Certificates of Incorporation, Articles of Association, Statutes, Company bylaws, other Institutional Documents)
* The Wolfsberg Group Anti-Money Laundering Questionnaire
* USA PATRIOT Act Certification
* Anti-Money Laundering Controls
* Annual Report
* Biographies of board & senior personnel

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