Based on the risk, and to the extent reasonable and practicable, we will ensure that we have a reasonable belief that we know the true identity of our customers by using risk-based procedures to verify and document the accuracy of the information we get about our customers. The compliance officer or the engaged third-party AML/KYC compliance services providers will analyze the information we obtain to determine whether the information is sufficient to form a reasonable belief that we know the true identity of the customer (e.g., whether the information is logical or contains inconsistencies).
We will verify customer identity through documentary means, non-documentary means or both. We will use documents to verify customer identity when appropriate documents are available. In light of the increased instances of identity fraud, we will supplement the use of documentary evidence by using the non-documentary means described below whenever necessary. We may also use non-documentary means if we are still uncertain about whether we know the true identity of the customer. In verifying the information, we will consider whether the identifying information that we receive, such as the customer’s name, street address, zip code, telephone number (if provided), date of birth and Social Security number, allow us to determine that we have a reasonable belief that we know the true identity of the customer (e.g., whether the information is logical or contains inconsistencies). Appropriate documents for verifying the identity of customers include the following:
- For an individual, an unexpired government-issued identification evidencing nationality or residence and bearing a photograph or similar safeguard, such as a driver’s license or passport; and
- For a person other than an individual, documents showing the existence of the entity, such as certified articles of incorporation, a government-issued business license, a partnership agreement or a trust instrument.
We understand that we are not required to take steps to determine whether the document that the customer has provided to us for identity verification has been validly issued and that we may rely on a government-issued identification as verification of a customer’s identity. If, however, we note that the document shows some obvious form of fraud, we must consider that factor in determining whether we can form a reasonable belief that we know the customer’s true identity.
We will use the following non-documentary methods of verifying identity:
- Independently verifying the customer’s identity through the comparison of information provided by the customer with information obtained from a consumer reporting agency, public database or another source;
- Checking references with other financial institutions; or
- Obtaining a financial statement.
- and other non-documentary methods, if applicable.
We will use non-documentary methods of verification when:
(1) the customer is unable to present an unexpired government-issued identification document with a photograph or other similar safeguard;
(2) the firm is unfamiliar with the documents the customer presents for identification verification;
(3) the customer and firm do not have face-to-face contact; and
(4) there are other circumstances that increase the risk that the firm will be unable to verify the true identity of the customer through documentary means.
We will verify the information within a reasonable time before or after the account is opened. Depending on the nature of the account and requested transactions, we may refuse to complete a transaction before we have verified the information, or in some instances when we need more time, we may, pending verification, restrict the types of transactions or money amount of transactions. If we find suspicious information that indicates possible money laundering, terrorist financing activity, or other suspicious activity, we will, after internal consultation with the firm's AML Compliance Person, file a SAR in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
We recognize that the risk that we may not know the customer’s true identity may be heightened for certain types of accounts, such as an account opened in the name of a corporation, partnership or trust that is created or conducts substantial business in a jurisdiction that has been designated by the authorities as a primary money laundering jurisdiction, a terrorist concern, or has been designated as a non-cooperative country or territory. We will identify customers that pose a heightened risk of not being properly identified. We will also take the following additional measures that may be used to obtain information about the identity of the individuals associated with the customer when standard documentary methods prove to be insufficient.