Accuity helps UK law firm avoid investigation, fines and protect reputation with its Online Compliance solution

4 November 2009

Within days of employing Accuity’s powerful online look-up tool for researching and identifying Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), sanctioned entities and other high-risk individuals and businesses, a top 100 UK law firm protected its reputation and avoided an investigation and possible fines by identifying and reporting a financial relationship with an entity that is associated with a company on two U.S. sanctions lists.

In order to avoid an investigation by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA), penalties and possible reputational damage, solicitors have a legal responsibility to carry out Know Your Customer checks on all clients as part of the Third EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive. Employing Accuity’s Online Compliance solution, the firm quickly identified that a client’s father—who was providing partial funding in a real estate transaction for the client—had close links with a U.S. company placed on both the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Tax sanctions lists for suspicion of money laundering. The firm was able to protect itself by making a suspicious activity report to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and secure consent to proceed before the client was aware an issue had been discovered.

As solicitors’ responsibilities to undertake effective due diligence operations grows, the ability to understand and mitigate risks with comprehensive data and superior technology becomes critical. “While many firms think that a quick Google search is enough to identify PEPs and other high-risk entities, the fact is that an Internet search engine simply isn’t enough to do the job,” said Malcolm Taylor, Managing Director EMEA and APAC, Accuity. “What’s needed is the ability to identify the relationships between clients and sanctioned entities from a single source of information that is 100% AML and anti-terrorist financing focused, in order to truly minimise risk.”

This case demonstrates that in order to meet their regulatory obligations and protect their reputations, law firms must engage in AML due diligence operations with the most comprehensive data and technology available. Accuity’s Online Compliance, is a powerful online look-up tool for identifying and researching PEPs and other sanctioned and high-risk entities using detailed information such as name, aliases, date of birth, place of birth, photographs, positions, family members, associates, company holdings and more.

Accuity’s Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Solutions provide comprehensive customer filtering and account screening tools to facilitate AML risk management and suspicious activity reporting as well as meet regulatory and enhanced due diligence requirements. To this end, Accuity also offers Compliance Link, an ongoing monitoring solution that accepts and screens a wide variety of data from numerous sources ranging from financial transactions to customer files to streamline workflow and screening processes.

As the Law Society’s preferred AML e-verification supplier for PEP and sanctions screening, Accuity provides industry-leading solutions that meet global due diligence and regulatory compliance needs

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