What is an AML check?
An AML check, otherwise known as an Anti-Money Laundering check, is designed to help you comply with money laundering regulations, verify a customer’s identity and prevent your business from being hit by financial crime activity.
Money laundering enables most forms of organised crime and although the exact figures are hard to pinpoint, it’s thought that money laundering activity impacts the UK annually by hundreds of billions of pounds.
With such a widespread issue ever-prevalent, businesses that deal with financial transactions must take responsibility and carry out AML checks on customers. In this article, we’ll explain further how AML checks work, what’s involved and why they are important.
What’s involved in an AML check?
In order to carry out an AML check, the following details from your subject will generally be required:
- Official document confirming their identity i.e. driving licence or passport
- Proof of residential address
- Date of birth
When carrying out the AML check, your provider will check your subject’s identity by checking their passport and driving license, checking a council tax bill, utility bill, bank statement, NHS medical card or self-assessment for proof of residential address. They can also verify bank accounts and check for adverse media, politically exposed persons (PEPs) and global sanctions.
At Creditserve, our AML checks include the following:
- Instant verification of your subject’s identity
- Instant checks on paper documents
- Screening against domestic and international data sets
- County Court Judgment searches
- NCOA fraud search
How long does an AML check take?
How long an AML check takes might vary between providers, however at Creditserve, our online AML checks are instant. As soon as you have provided all of the information needed - which can work out to be the most time-consuming part of the process - there’s little to no waiting around for the results.
Other providers may take 24 hours to carry out an AML check. There may be instances where the process can take longer. If incorrect information is provided, this can cause delays so ensure that everything is in hand and looking accurate before instructing your provider to carry out an AML check to avoid the process taking longer than it needs to.
What are the red flags to look out for in an AML check?
So, you’ve carried out an AML check on your subject. What is it exactly that you’re looking for as a cause for concern? There are a few different red flags that should be on your radar in an AML check.
The first red flag to look out for should be any reluctance from your customer in being the subject of an AML check. Perhaps they are avoiding the situation or not providing the documents that you require for verification. This should raise instant concerns. A trustworthy and reputable business will understand that an AML check is necessary both for compliance and a positive working relationship going forward.
Transactions to unregistered countries and sanctioned states are also a red flag, along with potential customers flagged as being from high-risk countries. High-risk countries currently include Albania, Cambodia, the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates amongst many more. The full list can be accessed on the Gov UK website. Whilst being from a high-risk country shouldn’t be enough for you to cut ties there and then, it should be treated as an indication to perform thorough background checks on the customer in question.
It can be tricky to spot these red flags if you’re not sure what you’re looking for or are not experienced in identifying the clues. When you work with Creditserve, our software does the hard work for you, detecting suspicious activity and red flags.
Why are AML checks important?
AML checks are essential in protecting your business and your reputation if you regularly deal with financial transactions. In fact, if you deal with financial transactions then you can be faced with legal and financial penalties if you fail to carry out AML checks. Making AML checks part of the process when working with any new customers will ensure you abide by and stay updated on all the ever-changing AML regulations.
Of course, one of the biggest benefits of AML checks is the protection it offers your business from financial crime. Money laundering and terrorist financing can be incredibly damaging. AML checks have the potential to prevent you from becoming involved in anything like this so that your business and your customers can remain protected from financial losses.
Being hit with financial crime can not only damage your businesses finances but also your business's reputation. Plus, by demonstrating that you’re committed to being an ethical and responsible business, your customers will have more confidence that they can put their trust in you, ultimately boosting your reputation.
Creditserve’s AML checks
If you’re looking for an online provider for your AML checks, look no further than us here at Creditserve. We offer instant AML checks with one of the leading electronic AML verification systems in the UK. You can purchase AML checks via our online shop in packs of 25, 100 and 250 or you can build a bespoke AML checks package that better suits your needs. Please note that all checks must be used within 12 months of purchase unless otherwise agreed.