Why Insurers need AML/CFT ?
Insurance policies are prone to abuse by fraudulent persons and criminals. Policies other than life and accident covers, flexible investment opportunities, surrender and withdrawals with ease, pose high risks of fraud and money laundering (ML).
As a registered insurance firm, agent, or broker, you are a “regulated entity”, if you
- Carry on the business of arranging contracts for insurance,
- Sell the products of an insurance company, or
- Request, negotiate or instigate insurance contracts on behalf of an insurer or client.
Insurance products involve huge disbursements, transfer of ownership/beneficiaries, and various schemes that make it vulnerable to money laundering (ML). Products such as single premium policies, annuity policies, policy loans, top-up insurance policies and high regular premium savings policies are exposed to the risks of being used to launder illicit funds, as they allow the diverting of funds or disposing of huge amounts. Surrender of policies, withdrawals or redemptions and fraudulent claims are other issues that the insurance sector deals face.
Insurance is a high-risk area, which involves rigorous risk assessment and underwriting. To keep the bad actors away, a thorough client verification (KYC) and risk scoring at each point of onboarding or transfer of ownership are mandated. Insurers can remain compliant by identifying the ultimate beneficial owner, ensuring enhanced due diligence (EDD) of high-risk policy products and high-value transactions, and implementing customer due diligence (CDD) right up to the claims stage.
The nature of some of the insurance products creates a barrier to effective AML/CTF compliance. The ability to buy single premium policies or life insurance policies covering huge amounts, are some ways illicit funds can be used. Transfer of ownership, lack of detailed information on the financial status of the client, withdrawal of funds before maturity, deliberate over-payment of premium, a refund of premiums and using payouts for other investments, are ways illegal money integrates into the legitimate economy creating challenges for the insurance sector.
Insurance firms, agents or brokers are expected to establish the framework for a risk-based compliance programme:
- Conduct a risk-based assessment for exposure by type of client, insurance policy, service channel, a country in which it operates, size of premiums, changes in client relationships, nature of redemption or payout.
- Create risk reduction measures and controls to lessen risk.
- Develop an AML/CTF program: client identification, ‘Ultimate Beneficial Owners’, transaction screening, business relationships, and policy-wise EDD.
- Implement the risk-based approach with ongoing monitoring of transactions, business relationships, and prioritising of investigations.
Set up and maintain your compliance programme, as per the laws of your regime. Non-compliance may result in criminal or administrative monetary penalties.
Ongoing compliance involves:
- Training staff, and creating awareness among insurance agents and brokers.
- Conducting policy-based diligence: KYC and confirming the existence, running checks of PEPs/Sanctions/Adverse Media (for life insurance); CDD when establishing a new business relationship or when there is a material change in the relationship with the client.
- Transaction monitoring of your clients and policies in real-time, reporting suspicious transactions.
- Establishing procedures at foreign branches, with periodic assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing risks.
- Reviewing your compliance program at regular intervals.
Our PEP and sanction screening service will help you reach your compliance requirements.
Our details scan reports provide you with an overview of in-depth information on potential risks to your organisation.
We provide access to multiple data sources to meet the varying requirements of users.
We update the information for all of our data sources daily to provide you with up-to-date relevant data.
Save the time manually checking names by using our batch scanning feature to scan bulk files of names simultaneously
Our service is straight-forward and easy use, making compliance easy by simplifying processes.
Perform due diligence by assigning risk, determining true matches and recording decisions in the NameScan dashboard.
Conduct further research into potential matches and risks to your organisation through various sources.
Use our API to integrate with your existing systems to automate the screening process.
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