Worldwide: General Principles Of Anti-Money Laundering And Counter-Terrorist Financing

Last Updated: 31 July 2015
Article by John Gosling, Antonia Hardy, Garry Ferguson, Daniel Wood, Denise Wong, Nigel Weston and John Rogers

Most Read Contributor in Cayman Islands, September 2018

Introduction

Walkers provides legal services from its offices in the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dubai, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jersey, London and Singapore. Each of the countries in which Walkers operates is a member of either the Financial Action Task Force ("FATF") or a regional FATF-style body such as the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force ("CFATF").

Walkers is committed to the highest standards of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing compliance and requires management and staff in each of its offices to adhere to these standards in order to protect and prevent Walkers and its Clients from being misused for the purpose of money laundering, terrorist financing or other financial crime.

Walkers' offices globally are regulated by a variety of different Regulators for AML & CTF purposes. Each office is therefore subject, in addition to these Principles and Walkers' policies and procedures, to the applicable AML & CTF laws, regulations and regulatory guidance of the countries in which it operates and/or provides services. In developing these Principles, Walkers has drawn upon its own knowledge and experience as well as the requirements of national and international laws and regulations and the guidelines and recommendations of national and international AML & CTF policy makers.

Purpose of this document

The purpose of this document is to set out the general principles to which Walkers adheres at a global level for the purposes of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing ("AML & CTF").

These Principles set out the general framework and minimum requirements necessary to ensure that Walkers fulfills its obligations of deterring, detecting and disclosing money laundering and terrorist financing and apply to all management, staff, offices and legal entities within Walkers.

These Principles do not cover the specific AML & CTF risk mitigation measures to be applied by Walkers or its offices in the day-to-day running of its business. Each office maintains policies and procedures, as required, to ensure compliance with these Principles, Walkers' policy and with the AML & CTF laws, regulations, and regulatory guidance applicable to the office and the services it provides.

Responsibilities

The protection of Walkers, its management and staff and its clients against the reputational, regulatory, criminal, operational and financial risks associated with inadequate AML & CTF policies, procedures and controls is the responsibility of every member of management and staff.

The role of Walkers' Compliance Department is to provide guidance, support and assistance to management and staff in carrying out their AML & CTF responsibilities and to exercise control and oversight over Walkers' AML & CTF policies, procedures and controls.

General principles

Walkers' global and local AML & CTF policies, procedures and controls are designed to satisfy the following principles:

  1. robust, proportionate and risk-based Customer Due Diligence procedures to identify and verify on an on-going basis the identity of Walkers' clients and related parties, including the ultimate beneficial owners and controllers of its clients;
  2. establishment of the intended nature and purpose of a client's business with Walkers, including, where appropriate, the identification of the source of wealth and funds associated with the client's business with Walkers;
  3. enhanced initial and on-going Customer Due Diligence and senior management approval of clients classified as Politically Exposed Persons;
  4. initial and on-going screening of clients against national and international sanctions and embargo lists;
  5. maintenance of robust record keeping procedures to ensure the retrieval of relevant information without undue delay when required to do so;
  6. accurate and timely internal and external reporting of suspicions of money laundering, terrorist financing or other financial crime and open and transparent co-operation with national and international Financial Intelligence Units and regulatory authorities.
  7. training and guidance of management and staff in relation to:

    1. applicable national AML & CTF laws, regulations and regulatory guidance, and
    2. Walkers' policies, procedures and controls in order to ensure all staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities in the detection, prevention and reporting of suspicions of money laundering and / or terrorist financing;
  8. proactive management of money laundering and terrorist financing risks; and
  9. on-going monitoring and testing of the above general requirements and Walkers' AML & CTF policies, procedures and controls and its reliance on trusted third parties.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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