Experian upgrades Commercial Autoscore to deliver even greater AML compliance

27 November 2007

Experian®, the global information services company, has upgraded the anti-money laundering functionality of Commercial Autoscore, its commercial credit application processing system, to deliver an even greater level of automated AML compliance.

With only weeks to go before revisions to the Anti-Money Laundering Directive come into force on 15 December, this new feature will enable businesses to automatically verify shareholders and beneficial owners - a key requirement of the revisions - in addition to directors and proprietors, as part of the commercial credit granting process and asses what risks are posed to their business by the companies they plan to deal with.

Built-in electronic authentication will automatically verify businesses’ details, while money laundering enhancements such as Know Your Customer procedures and controls, checks against politically exposed people (PEPs) and checks against eight other sanction files will ensure businesses attain the highest level of compliance with the new regulations.

Tony Pullen, Managing Director of Experian’s Business Information division, said: “As anti-money laundering regulation has become more stringent, we have continually enhanced Commercial Autoscore to enable our clients to meet their compliance obligations and ensure that they are not put at risk of fines, reputational damage or even a prison sentence by failing to have the correct procedures in place. Now, with new legislation about to come into force, Commercial Autoscore will become an even more powerful tool, ensuring automatic compliance for those businesses using it.”

Powerful checks against sanction files Commercial Autoscore provides a referral alert if there is a business match (limited or non-limited) with a sanction file when a commercial credit application is processed. If a match has been found, a warning message is displayed at the top of the business report. Where no match has been found, a narrative is displayed to confirm this, providing evidence that a search has been conducted.

Authentication of directors, shareholders, other beneficial owners and company secretaries Commercial Autoscore’s authentication screens display the ‘person type’, i.e. director, company secretary or shareholder, and whether a shareholder or company secretary is actually a company. The client can select the required setting for which shareholders should be displayed, based on a percentage shareholding. For all displayed contacts an authentication level, including ‘not authenticated’, is given and a search against a PEP file is conducted.

The new Anti-Money Laundering Directive will apply to any organisation that accepts cash payments of EUR 15,000 (around £10,500), or above. In addition to banks, financial institutions and other FSA regulated businesses already subject to Money Laundering Regulations, the revisions extend anti-money laundering responsibility to a wide range of companies. These include casinos, lawyers, estate agents and accountants, regardless of the level of one-off cash payments they accept.

According to Experian’s research, more than half (51 per cent) of companies in the UK* risk being fined for failing to have adequate anti-money laundering procedures in place. In addition, 49 per cent of companies still rely on fraud-friendly paper-based authentication procedures to verify the identity of customers, including business customers.

Tony Pullen concludes: “We are encouraging companies to take measures to clean up their act before revisions to the Anti-Money Laundering Directive come into force, but want to stress that complying with this additional legislation need not be an additional burden for businesses. Using a system like Commercial Autoscore means that checks can automatically be undertaken against customers as part of the automated commercial credit granting process.”

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