Thomson Reuters is taking on Swift and a host of other start-ups in the race to develop a central utility for Know Your Customer due diligence checking with the launch of Accelus Org ID.
Accelus Org ID was developed "in partnership with leading financial institutions, corporations, asset managers and hedge funds", says Thomson Reuters, although it declines to name participating institutions.
Fixed income outfit Tradeweb Markets, an affiliate of Thomson Reuters, has helped with the initial specs, while e-FX brokerage unit Thomson Reuters Transaction Services participated in a beta trial of the service and is now live on Accelus Org ID.
Thomson Reuters says it also held discussion with nine regulators in key markets across the globe to fine-tune the requirements for the new service.
Accelus Org ID acts as a neutral 'central clearing house' by creating accurate identity documentation, which works as a globally-recognised KYC 'passport', and provides the ability to screen for high money laundering risk characteristics, negative news flow or sanctions issues. The clients of financial institutions submit a single set of identity documents to Accelus Org ID and can make them available to all of their authorised counterparties.
The service is centrally updated as new regulations come into effect and covers rules and regulations surrounding the AML, FATCA, Dodd-Frank, EMIR and MIFID, supporting KYC compliance in the US, Europe, Asia and the emerging markets.
Phil Weisberg, global head, foreign exchange, Thomson Reuters, says: "Accelus Org ID is supporting us with all aspects of KYC needed for our 7,000 member entities and this will ease the path for our clients to trade and invest with confidence. We are really pleased that Thomson Reuters is taking its proven expertise in KYC and leading the way through this partnership with the industry."
Earlier this month, interbank messaging network Swift announced that it had recruited a group of major banks to help develop its centralised KYC utility for the collection and distribution of standard information required by banks as part of their due diligence processes.
In January, Switzerland-based KYC Exchange launched a Web-based communication platform for Know Your Customer (KYC) and Customer Due Diligence (CDD) data sharing for the international banking community.
The following month, Strevus, a San Francisco-based startup providing data sharing risk and compliance management technology to financial service institutions, raised $5.6 million in a series a funding round led by Blumberg Capital.