At Aria Grace Law we are proud to be an ethical corporate law firm with clients that hold the same values as we do. We are thrilled to support RegTech solution provider, Kyckr in protecting its business model and providing it with legal advice that facilitates its future growth and expansion.
Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) and Know-Your-Customer (“KYC”) challenges
Aria Grace Law works in different sectors, including financial services, and we see the issues that organisations face when it comes to ensuring compliance with AML and KYC obligations.
Over the past 5 years, there has been a steady increase in the level of AML enforcement activity. A recent report noted that financial intuitions globally have paid over $36 billion in fines, for non-compliance with AML, KYC and sanctions regulations.
Regulators, particularly in Europe have implemented stringent requirements upon financial institutions under the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (2015/849/EU) (“4AMLD”) back in June 2017, and following that, the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (“5AMLD”) in January 2020.
The Financial Conduct Authority has been particularly prominent with its enforcement powers and has fined, among others, the following organisations:
· In 2010 Alpari Limited was fined £140,000.
· In 2012 Turkish Bank (UK) Limited was fined £294,000.
· In 2013 EFG Private Bank was fined £4.2 million.
· In 2014 Standard Bank was fined £7.6 million.
· In 2015 Barclays Bank was fined £72 million.
· In 2017 Deutsche Bank AG was fined £163 million.
Naturally, we can witness the same outside of the UK:
· In 2017 BNP Paribas was fined €10 million by French authorities.
· In 2018 UBS was fined £15 million by US authorities.
· In 2018 ING was fined €775 million by Dutch authorities.
· In 2019 Standard Chartered was fined $947 million by the US authorities.
· In 2019 Raiffeisen Bank was fined €2.75 million by Austrian authorities.
· In 2020 Signet Bank was fined €906,610 by the Latvian authorities.
· In 2020 Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank was fined £475,000 by the Jersey authorities.
· In 2020 SEB was fined kr. 1 billion by the Swedish authorities.
RegTech solutions to address compliance and risk management challenges
When it comes to KYC and AML challenges, access to primary source information is critical to ensure regulatory compliance. Since the 5AMLD came into force in January 2020, having accurate and up-to-date information on corporate customers has never been more important.
Quickly updating and obtaining all the necessary evidence as part of the ongoing KYC review, is also typically one of the most challenging areas for regulated firms.
Kyckr provides real-time access to legally authoritative global company data via a single platform by connecting organisations to over 180 company registries and 170+ million legal entities across 120 countries.
Unlike many data providers, Kyckr does not store and provide outdated company data. It connects organisations directly to the registry at every search, ensuring the quality and accuracy of the information it returns. Kyckr’s automated solutions therefore offer a powerful suite of tools to help organisations manage their regulatory, KYC and compliance challenges, no matter where in the world they are based.
The impact that Kyckr makes
Chief Executive Officer of Kyckr, Ian Henderson, believes that “Onboarding new clients when opening a bank account is the first stage in customer verification, involving gathering vital information on the customer and conducting identity checks to comply with KYC regulations. More and more businesses are looking into automated and accurate means of adhering to AML and KYC obligations to prevent fraud, and this is where our technology is well positioned in the market.”
Founder Partner of Aria Grace Law, Lindsay Healy comments, "We have seen Kyckr's software in action and find it to be intuitive and easy to use. We definitely believe that organisations can really benefit from the use of real-time primary source data, and Kyckr’s Company Watch is groundbreaking. The world is changing and there is a real focus on ensuring that organisations comply with their legal obligations due to the negative impact that non-compliance can have on society as a whole. Poor KYC can result in huge damage to an organisation's reputation not to mention its P&L. In addition, nobody wants to do business with a company that inadvertently or intentionally fuels and allows for money laundering or terrorist financing."
Partner at Aria Grace Law, Puja Modha further comments, "Having worked in financial services and the fintech sector, I’ve seen the issues that organisations face when it comes to KYC. I believe that Kyckr's solution can help compliance functions to develop better processes when it comes to their approach to KYC and this can in turn help them to have more lean and cost-effective compliance functions. RegTech solutions have huge benefits including streamlined compliance processes, improved efficiency and reduced regulatory risk.”.
Get in touch
Aria Grace Law advises on several areas including commercial law, corporate law, technology law, banking law and compliance. The Aria Grace Law team that has supported Kyckr with its legal matters consists of Lindsay Healy, Puja Modha and Niamh Gleeson. To get in touch with them, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curious how you could leverage cutting-edge technology to automate your compliance and KYC processes? Contact the Kyckr team at email@example.com to find out more.