Northwood Policy Statement
Northwood is committed to ensuring that it has adequate controls to counter money laundering activities and terrorist financing activities, in line with the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.
Risk sensitive policies and procedures must be established in order to anticipate and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.
A risk sensitive or risk-based approach is where businesses assess the risk of customers laundering money through their business. Businesses may take the starting point that most customers will not launder money but will identify criteria that would indicate a higher risk of money laundering – e.g. where there is no face-to-face meeting to establish identity.
Northwood is committed to staff training in anti money laundering legislation and this is also covered as a part of the Induction training courses held in Southampton each month.
Each Northwood office has a Money Laundering Reporting Officer whose responsibility is to receive internal reports and to refer them the Group Money Laundering Reporting Officer as appropriate. The group MLRO is Gemma Goodson based at the Franchise Office, who will forward reports to SOCA as necessary.
Adherence to the “Due Diligence” identification procedures on every occasion will mitigate the risks of the business being used to launder money or fund terrorism.
All landlords, tenants, vendors and purchasers must be identified fully with two forms of ID, evidence of identity being photographic and also evidence of residence e.g. a utility bill dated in the last three months.
Should a face to face meeting not take place then enhanced due diligence procedures will need to be adopted by asking for additional information or evidence to establish the customer’s identity, and ensuring that the documents supplied are certified. It would also be prudent to ensure that the first payment is made to a bank account in the customer’s name.
If the verification of the customer’s identity is done by documents this should be based on:
- A government issued document with the customer’s full name and photo with either the customer’s date of birth or residential address such as:
- Valid passport
- Valid photocard driving licence
- National identity card
- Firearms certificate
- A government issued document (without a photo) which includes the customer’s full name and supported by secondary evidence:
- Old style driving licence
- Recent evidence of entitlement to state or local authority-funded benefit such as housing benefit, council tax benefit, pension, tax credits
- Supported by secondary evidence such as
- A utility bill
- Bank or building society statement
- Most recent mortgage statement from a recognised lender
For customers other than private individuals
For customers who are not private individuals, such as corporate customers and private companies, the business must obtain information that is relevant e.g. company registration number, registered address and evidence that the individuals have the authority to act for the company – a search at Companies House will reveal details of directors and company secretary.
Suspicious Activity Reporting
A report should be made if a member of staff/ the nominated officer thinks that there is a possibility, which is more than fanciful, that a person is or has been engaged in money laundering or terrorist financing.
The report should be made to the Office Money Laundering Reporting Officer who, should they be satisfied that there are grounds to suspect money laundering or terrorism, must forward a report to Gemma Goodson, the Group MLRO, at the Franchise Office as soon as is practicable.
What is Suspicious Activity?
This list is by no means exhaustive.
- Reluctance to provide details of their identity
- Customer is trying to use intermediaries to hide their identity or involvement
- There appears to be no genuine reason for the customer using the business’s services
- The transaction is different from the normal business of the customer
- Size or frequency of the transaction is not consistent with the normal activities of the customer
- There has been a significant or unexpected improvement in the customer’s financial position particularly where they are unable to give a proper explanation of where the money came from.
- Money is paid by a third party who does not appear to be connected with the customer
- The customer requests payment to a third party who has no apparent connection with the customer
- A cash transaction is unusually large and the customer will not disclose the source of funds.
- A transaction is carried out for less than market value with an unconnected person
Should a report be made then it is important that this fact, and any information about the transaction in question, is kept confidential
The following records are required to be kept for 5 years:
- Copies of, or references to, the evidence obtained of a customer’s identity for five years after the end of the customer relationship, or five years from the date when the transaction was completed.
- Supporting records relating to a customer relationship or occasional transaction for five years from the date when the transaction was completed.
The purpose for keeping these records is to demonstrate the business’s compliance with the regulations and to aid any resulting investigations.
This information has been taken from and condensed from the OFT Money Laundering Regulations 2007 Core guidance issued under Crown Copyright 2007