Corporate client identification | AccountingWEB

Corporate client identification

The CCAB Guidance for a normal risk client (representative met face to face) requires

  • a full company search
  • or certified copies of original documentation evidencing details of incorporation etc

For many of our clients (registered under the PROOF scheme) we hold Companies House webfiling key so we can file changes in appointments, registered office, annual returns etc.

In some cases we do not have originals of certificates of incorporation or the Memo & Arts.

We hold on file as evidence of identity

Companies House Websearch print-out

And as evidence of ownership / control

Annual returns submitted by ourselves with directors details, shareholdings, registered office.

Is the CCAB guidance proscriptive of an ICAEW firm or does common sense prevail?

What by the way constitutes a "certified copy" of the stipulated documents?











Anonymous | | Permalink

It is only guidance but may be used in evidence against you.

I would do a search anyway. stick it on the file it gives them something to tick if the need should arrise.

This is KYB only nothing practical applies.

davidwinch's picture

Text book answer

davidwinch | | Permalink

I think the text book answer is that you follow your own firm's policies and procedures as set out in the firm's ML procedures manual prepared pursuant to Reg 20 of MLR 2007.

Another way of looking at it is to ask yourself if you have satisfied yourself regarding the CDD needed for the client (which of course includes something in relation to 'beneficial owners' such as major shareholders in client companies).  If you have satisfied yourself and are prepared to justify that to your supervisory body if asked, then that's fine.

But obviously if you have departed from the firm's manual or the CCAB guidance then you would need to have an explanation for why you did that.

I once had a contact (MLRO at a big firm) who got a very snotty email from a partner of his along the lines of, "If you think I am going to ask Sheikh X the governor of the central bank of [Middle Eastern oil rich state] for a copy of his domestic gas bill to prove his ID, you have another think coming!"  The guy had a point - there was other evidence available that Sheikh X was who he claimed to be.

It seems to me that the key to your issue is not so much confirming the existence of the company as confirming the ID of the individuals behind the company, ascertaining their legitimate reasons for forming the company, and the nature of the services they require from you and their legitimate reasons for that.  Then asking yourself if everything 'stacks up'.  In all probability it does and all is well.

But if you really feel the need to tick a box then get a Companies House search done to reveal the information which you have yourself filed at Companies House!

A 'certified copy' by the way could be a reference to the certified copies of documents which Companies House will provide for a fee (a complete waste of money in your case) or a photocopy of a document (such as a passport) certified by a solicitor as being a true copy of an original which he has inspected.


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