Wednesday, June 4, 2014


If you are a compliance officer in a private bank, your Know Your Customer (KYC) issues with prospective clients are extremely complex, especially when you are dealing with ultra high net worth clients, those whose wealth exceeds $30m. Such clients, especially if they reside in countries in the developing world, present unique challenges, both at account opening, and when they maintain large balances. The possibility that they are engaging in money laundering, or bribery & corruption, must be ruled out to accept wealthy clients, if you are the gatekeeper.

Prospective ultra high net worth clients are often the subjects of enhanced due diligence investigations, for risk management purposes. The last thing any bank wants is to be featured in the media as the tool of major financial criminals. What must be examined in detail should include:

(1) PEP status
(2) Possible sanctions
(3) Significant civil litigation
(4) Negative or adverse information

There is a new resource available for compliance officers who must vet the ultra wealthy. You may be familiar with Wealth-X,* the database which delivers detailed information on the world's ultra high net worth individuals, has created a due diligence tool for KYC of the uber-wealthy; it is called Wealth-X Diligence, or WXD. If you are not familiar with Wealth-X, it was created by David Leppan, the founder of World-Check, the favored database of high-risk individuals and entities, and Mr. Leppan's record speaks for itself, I believe.

David Leppan
Given that most of World-Check's best innovators  are now with Wealth-X, I think that you can expect the same level of information accuracy in Wealth-X Diligence. If you are a compliance director at a private bank, hedge fund, or a financial services firm at an offshore center, it may prove to be a useful KYC tool for you and your staff.

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