The accounting industry is included in new legislation on money laundering and the financing of terrorism, which entered into force on 1 August 2017. The legislation includes stricter requirements for checks and customer knowledge. This is something that you as a customer may notice.
Money laundering is about hiding the connection between crime and money or other property. The financing of terrorism is about financially supporting terrorism by way of direct contributions or by collecting, receiving, providing, or mediating money and other assets in order to finance terrorism.
The Swedish Money Laundering Act tightens the requirements for business operators’ procedures for acquiring good customer knowledge. This means that many companies need to raise the quality of their risk assessments, gather information on money-laundering risks from more sources, and be even more careful about taking into account risk factors for their industry.
What does this mean for customers?
Customers can expect to have to answer a number of questions in order for the supplier to obtain sufficient knowledge and so that both parties feel confident. Data must be collected on all customers, so singling out a customer by asking questions is not in any way a sign of suspicion of money laundering. For existing customers, reconciliations and checks may be made to ensure that transactions do not relate to money laundering or the financing of terrorism.
Accounting consultants and auditors are subject to public authority requirements to run checks on their customers in relation to:
- Beneficial owner
A beneficial owner is the person or people who ultimately own or control a company or association.
- Checks against UN and EU sanction lists
Sanction lists are EU and UN lists of people and organisations that are sanctioned because they are involved in or linked to terrorism.
- PEP checks
PEP means “Politically Exposed Person”. Through their position and influence, a PEP is considered to hold a position which itself constitutes a risk of being used for bribery, for example.
Accounting firms have a duty to train their staff on money laundering and to inform their staff about changes and current rules. At Azets, our staff must undergo mandatory training on the Swedish Money Laundering Act.
If you want to know more about how Azets works in accordance with the Swedish Money Laundering Act and how it affects our customers, we are happy to tell you more.