Istithmar Limited (Saint Vincent) (“Istithmar” or “the Company”) aims to prohibit, detect and actively pursue the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing activities and vows to comply with all related law, rules and regulations with full attention and no compromise with any of the abovementioned illegal activities. The management of the Company is committed to Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”), Counter Terrorism Financing (“CFT”) compliance in accordance with applicable laws and places extremely high importance on assisting in discovering any money laundering scheme and/or terrorism financing activities. Istithmar Limited (Saint Vincent) also requires its officers, employees, introducing brokers and affiliated companies to adhere to these standards in preventing the use company’s products and services for the purposes of money laundering and terrorism financing activities.
The purpose of “AML, CFT & KYC Policy”, (“the Policy”), is to provide guidance on the Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”), Counter Terrorism Financing (“CFT”), and Know your Client (“KYC") procedures which are followed by the Company in order to achieve full compliance with the relevant AML and CTF legislation.
This policy applies to all Company’s officers, employees, introducing brokers, affiliated companies, and products and services offered by the Company. Any employee found not to be adhering to these policies and procedures will face severe disciplinary action.
The Company is required to comply with the provisions of the applicable laws regarding the prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. The main purpose of these Laws is to define and criminalize the laundering of proceeds generated from all serious criminal offences aiming at depriving criminals from the profits of their crimes. In accordance with the AML and CTF Laws, the Company is obliged to set out policies and procedures for preventing money laundering and Terrorist Financing activities. The AML and CFT procedures, which are implemented by the Company, are based on AML and CFT laws applicable in Saint Vincent, the recommendations of The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), in addition to other documents and information.
Money laundering is the process of creating the appearance that large amounts of money obtained from serious crimes, such as drug trafficking or terrorist activity, originated from a legitimate source.
There are three steps involved in the process of laundering money: Placement, Layering and Integration.
Placement refers to the act of introducing "dirty money" (money obtained through illegitimate, criminal means) into the financial system in some way.
Layering is the act of concealing the source of that money by way of a series of complex transactions and bookkeeping gymnastics.
Integration refers to the act of acquiring that money in purportedly legitimate means.
Terrorist financing (proceeds for crime) is the process by which funds are provided for financing or financial support to individual terrorists or terrorist groups.
A terrorist, or terrorist group, is one that has a purpose or activity to facilitate or carry out any terrorist action, and can involve: individuals or groups.
The term AML CTF refers to “Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing” or “Anti Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing”.
Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) refers to a set of procedures, laws or regulations designed to stop the practice of generating income through illegal actions.
Counter Terrorism Financing (“CTF”) refers to a set of procedures, laws or regulations designed to prevent financing or providing financial support to individual terrorists or terrorist groups.
The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (“FATF”), also known by its French name, Groupe d'action financière (GAFI), is an intergovernmental organization established in July 1989 by a Group of Seven (G-7) Summit in Paris, initially to examine and develop measures to combat money laundering.
In October 2001, the FATF expanded its mandate to incorporate efforts to combat terrorist financing, in addition to money laundering.
The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
Starting with its own members, the FATF monitors countries' progress in implementing the FATF Recommendations; reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and counter-measures; and, promotes the adoption and implementation of the FATF Recommendations globally.
The Task Force was given the responsibility of examining money laundering techniques and trends, reviewing the action which had already been taken at a national or international level, and setting out the measures that still needed to be taken to combat money laundering.
In April 1990, less than one year after its creation, the FATF issued a report containing a set of Forty Recommendations, which were intended to provide a comprehensive plan of action needed to fight against money laundering.
In 2001, the development of standards in the fight against terrorist financing was added to the mission of the FATF.
In October 2001, the FATF issued the Eight Special Recommendations to deal with the issue of terrorist financing. The continued evolution of money laundering techniques led the FATF to revise the FATF standards comprehensively in June 2003.
In October 2004, the FATF published a Ninth Special Recommendations, further strengthening the agreed international standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing - the 40+9 Recommendations.
In February 2012, the FATF completed a thorough review of its standards and published the revised FATF Recommendations. This revision is intended to strengthen global safeguards and further pro-tect the integrity of the financial system by providing governments with stronger tools to take action against financial crime. They have been expanded to deal with new threats such as the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and to be clearer on transparency and tougher on corruption. The 9 Special Recommendations on terrorist financing have been fully integrated with the measures against money laundering. This has resulted in a stronger and clearer set of standards.
The provisions of the Laws adopted by the Company introduces procedures and processes that ensure compliance with the applicable Laws related to Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing activities.
The Company has adopted all requirements of the applicable laws in relation to client categorization and identification and due diligence procedures as explained below:
Clients are categorized based on their risk profile into three main categories as explained below:
The following types of clients are considered lower risk. It should be noted that the Company shall gather sufficient information to establish if the client qualifies to be classified as lower risk client:
All clients who do not fall under either High Risk or Low risk category will be considered as Normal Risk Clients.
Clients with the following criteria are classified as High risk due to the following conditions:
The Client Identification and Due diligence procedures are applied in the following conditions:
The practice to which the Company adheres in order to comply with the requirements of the Law on the subject of the client identification is achieved on a risk-based approach and it is set out below:
The Company shall take specific and adequate measures to compensate for the high risk, by applying one or more of the following measures:
- Ensure that the client’s identity is established by additional documents, data or information.
- Apply supplementary measures to verify or certify the documents supplied.
- Ensure that the first payment of the operations is carried out through an account opened in the client’s name with a credit institution which operates in a country of which imposes requirements higher or equivalent to those laid down by Company’s regulators.
The following verification procedure will be followed by the Company in order to verify the identity of the client during the establishment of the business relationship:
- The cumulative amount of funds to be deposited will not exceed the amount of USD 2,000.
- The funds may come only from a bank account or through other means that are linked to a bank account in the name of the client.
- Notification / Reminder emails will be sent to the clients requesting to be provided with the client’s identification documents.
- Closure of the account in cases where the verification procedure is not concluded following the completion of the period.
- The Company shall not withhold any clients’ funds and no accounts shall be frozen unless there is a suspicion of money laundering.
Politically Exposed Persons (“PEPs”) are individuals who are or have been entrusted with prominent public functions in a foreign country and close associate is someone with a close relationship with the political exposed persons.
The Company should adopt the following additional due diligence measures to determine whether a prospective client is a politically exposed person:
- Special Approval from Senior Management prior to the establishment of a business relationship with the client.
- Take appropriate measures for the establishment of the origin of the client’s assets and the source of funds that are related with the establishment of the business relationship or transaction.
- Conduct enhanced and continuous monitoring of the business relationship.
The Company is prohibited from keeping anonymous or numbered accounts. Additionally, the Company shall pay special attention to any money laundering or terrorist financing threat that may arise from products or transactions that might favour anonymity and take measures to prevent their use for money laundering or terrorist financing purposes.
A different identification procedure is followed for Legal Persons (corporate clients) interested in opening an account with the Company.
These documentation requirements are presented below:
The form and name of corporate documents may vary depending on country of incorporation and/or legal form of the company. However, the required government-issued Corporate Documents should include Corporation name, Date and Place of Incorporation, Registered Office Address, Directors and authorized signatories, Ownership/shareholding structure (Shareholders names and shareholding percentage), Corporate registered activities.
These documents may include but not limited to, Certificate of incorporation or Certificate of Registration, Certificate of Registered Office, Certificate of Directors and Secretary, Certificate of Registered Shareholders, Memorandum and articles of association,
Personal KYC and identification documents are required from:
- Legal Person’s Directors
- Legal Person’s Ultimate Beneficial Owners with 10% beneficial ownership or more.
These identification documents include Proof of Identity and Proof of Residence.
A resolution of the board of directors of the legal person for the opening of the account and granting authority to those who will operate it.
The Company should keep the below listed documents and information for use in any investigation into, or analysis, of possible money laundering or terrorist financing by national authorities.
The retention of the documents/data, other than the original documents or their certified true copies that are kept in a hard copy form, may be in other forms, such as electronic form, provided that the Company is able to retrieve the relevant documents/data without undue delay and present them at any time, to the relevant authorities, after a request. A true translation is attached in the case that the documents/data are in a language other than English.
A suspicious transaction is a transaction which is inconsistent with a client's known, legitimate business or personal activities or with the normal business of the specific account, or in general with the economic profile that the Company has created for the client.
The Company ensures maintaining adequate information at all time and knows enough about its clients' activities in order to recognize on time that a transaction or a series of transactions is/are unusual or suspicious.
Examples of what might constitute suspicious transactions/activities related to money laundering and terrorist financing include but not limited to:
The procedure to report a client’s suspicious transaction is as follows:
The procedure to be followed by the AML compliance officer on a daily/monthly basis is as follows:
The Company ensures that its employees are fully aware of their legal obligations according to the Law, in relation to the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing by introducing a complete employee’s education and training program.
The training program aims at educating employees on the latest developments in the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, including the practical methods and trends used for this purpose.
The training program ensures that Company’s employees are fully aware that they can be personally liable for failure to report information or suspicion, regarding money laundering or terrorist financing. The timing and content of the training provided to the employees of the various departments is adjusted according to the needs of each department.
The frequency of the training can vary depending on to the amendments of legal and/or regulatory requirements, employees’ duties as well as any other changes in the financial system.
The training program has a different structure for new employees, existing employees and for different departments of the Company according to the services that they provide.
On-going training is given at regular intervals to ensure that the employees are reminded of their duties and responsibilities and kept informed of any new developments.
Any personal information collected about the client such as name, address, date of birth and contact details will be maintained with Istithmar Limited (Saint Vincent) strictly for business purposes. Other information such as client transactions, copies of passports and proof of addresses will remain confidential and shared only between our account services and compliance departments. Istithmar Limited (Saint Vincent) may additionally inquire about the credit worthiness of the client, which will also remain confidential within our customer files. Such information may be maintained either physically or electronically with strict access procedures.
Istithmar Limited (Saint Vincent) may share client information with internal departments or affiliate offices who conduct marketing, back-office and customer service functions to accomplish normal business operations. However, client information is required to be kept confidential as each employee within the Istithmar Limited (Saint Vincent) has signed a Confidentiality Agreement in this regard.
Istithmar Limited, First Floor, First St. Vincent Bank Ltd Building, James Street , Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, is incorporated in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and regulated by the Financial Services Authority of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines under Number: 24814 IBC 2018.Card transactions are processed via Istithmar Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Istithmar .Regional restrictions: Istithmar Limited (Saint Vincent) does not provide services to residents of Saint Vincent, the USA, UK, EU, Japan, Canada, Australia, and some other regions.