Bank of Scotland has introduced a new anti-money laundering system at its business banking unit to perform online identity checks against all individuals and businesses before opening new accounts as well as authenticating existing account holders.
The new system, developed by Experian and fully compliant with the Money Laundering Guidelines, also provides confirmation of the identity of any directors or proprietors, account signatories and significant shareholders connected to the business account.
The online approach will ensure instantaneous approval of over 85 per cent of business accounts without the need for any further certification or archiving, says Bank of Scotland. The new system will also reduce administrative paperwork involved in the compliance process.
John Anderson, senior director of operations for Bank of Scotland Business Banking, says: "Bank of Scotland is ensuring that its doors remain bolted firmly against criminals and the bank will continue to implement ever increasing powerful measures to prevent, report and eradicate any known instances of money laundering."
Richard Fiddis, chief operating officer, Experian, comments: "UK legislation already requires banks to report such suspicions promptly to the authorities but the Proceeds of Crime bill, likely to be introduced during this Parliament, will widen the offence of banks failing to report money laundering."
According to estimates by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), money laundering could be worth anywhere between $590 billion and $1.5 trillion worldwide. In the UK, the problem is thought to be worth as much as 2 per cent of GDP.