It is the policy of Essential Bullion to comply with the letter and the spirit of all applicable domestic and international laws and regulations regarding the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.
At Essential Bullion we deem Money Laundering to be defined as:
“The process that turns dirty money into funds that appear lawful and can therefore be spent as ifthey were from legal sources. Money laundering legitimises the proceeds of crime and allowsdrug gangs, human traffickers and other criminals to expand and benefit from their operations.Examples of money laundering offences include tax evasion, theft, fraud, bribery, corruption,smuggling, modern slavery, human trafficking, drug trafficking and illegal arms sales…”
In UK law money laundering is defined in the Proceeds of Crimes Act 2002 (POCA) and includes all forms of handling or possessing criminal property, including possessing the proceeds of one's own crime, and facilitating any handling or possession of criminal property.
In the UK and in the European Union, the main laws and regulations include Directive 1991/308/EC; Directive 2001/97/EC; EC Regulation 881/2002 and its multiple updates imposing restrictions against persons and entities associated with Usama bin Laden, the Al-Qaida network and the Taliban; and Laws 431/01, 438/01, 155/05 on the fight against terrorism.
As of now, Essential Bullion is already enhancing its AML policies and procedures in order to comply with the:
● Proceeds of Crimes Act 2002 (POCA)
● The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (Money Laundering Regulations 2017)
● The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (Money Laundering Regulations 2019)
● Directive 2005/60/EC.
To ensure that this policy is respected, Essential Bullion’s management has created and periodically updates a program including instructions, procedures and controls of which Essential Bullion employees and management are required to be aware and comply with such a program, as it remains applicable throughout its business.
The main aim of AML regulations in the UK is to leave a trace of funds transferred so as to facilitate the investigations of law enforcement bodies. In order to do that, the law intends, among other things:
1. to limit the use of cash or financial instruments which are not traceable to a maximum amount of £10,000 if not done with the intermediation of a qualified intermediary;
2. to identify and register transactions over £10,000 as a whole or in smaller parts carried out by persons who establish a continuous relationship with Essential Bullion (debit cards, credit cards, etc) in a specific single computerized database.
3. to actively collaborate with financial law enforcement by reporting suspicious activities. Essential Bullion has implemented policies and procedures to comply with British anti-money laundering regulations. Such policies and procedures are mostly gathered in an internal document that all staff are required to read and understand. All staff need to sign to prove reception of the manuals, which include, among other things, operating instructions, technical descriptions of tools as well as a description of anti money laundering regulations.
Cash Transaction Monitoring
Breaches to cash transaction regulations (including the use of cash or instruments that do not allow for tracing over £10,000) will be reported to the Authorities. Our Compliance division will report periodically to our Auditors on such activities.
Customer identification and transaction recording
Our customer service representatives are required to identify customers following specific procedures and to provide specific data and documents. IT systems require that to open an account or do any transaction once over the £10,000 threshold, the customer must provide information mandatory according to the law. Information registered by law must be recorded for ten years after the end of the relationship.
Furthermore, information systems within the Essential Bullion business must ensure that all information that needs to be registered in accordance with the law is maintained.
The Compliance division reports any transaction or behavior involving any amount and of any characteristic and nature, and detected in any circumstance that may induce Essential Bullion to believe that funds being used may come from an illicit source.
The evaluation of such transactions must consider the customer’s profile and usual activity.
Essential Bullion and its compliance division shall and will report all suspicious activities relating to illicit sources.
Know Your Customer
In order to follow the Directive 2005/60/EC and any future British Legislative Decree that will adopt it and consistently with Essential Bullion policies – Essential Bullion is enhancing its Know Your Customer program in order to better classify its customers on the basis of AML risk and to be able to better apply proper due diligence on new and existing customers.
In order to make sure that future Essential Bullion personnel behave consistently with reporting instructions, our Compliance division organizes training for all staff, both in class and e-learning.
Particular attention is devoted to personnel exposed to direct contact with customers and to roles responsible for managing suspicious transactions so as to bring them to the attention of Compliance.
Such training focuses on the methodologies to be used in the evaluation of customers and transactions and the use of tools that support AML activities.
Furthermore, the Compliance division will be kept updated on AML regulations and practices through participation in seminars organized by the Authorities, and other national and international bodies.
The Audit division carries out independent testing on compliance with AML policies and procedures throughout the business. Results are reported to the Essential Bullion’s senior management team.