Why we check ID
If you are a new client, I need to check your identification. If I’ve known you for many years, I still need to perform the same checks. This may seem odd but is a legal requirement. If I don’t do it, my firm is exposed to a penalty.
The legal issues are discussed in the case of N Bevan Ltd TC5404, where a penalty of £3,094 was imposed. It is worth a read.
How we do it
The usual way of undertaking ID is to take a copy of your passport or driving licence when I meet you. I may also need to confirm your home address electronically. If you have a trust or company I need to identify the trustees and ultimate beneficial owners. It is important that I fully understand your assets, business structures and transactions, under the anti-money laundering regulations.
Updating the information
I may have to refresh the information every few years or when you undertake a transaction. This can be frustrating and cause delays but is important and a legal requirement.
Making it easier
Where I hope I differ from large firms is to make that process as easy as possible, by doing the checks myself and calling out to see you to collect the information.