suspicious-transaction report with the maximum speed (see 4.3 below).
Intermediaries shall equip themselves with adequate internal procedures able to avoid their being involved even unwittingly in episodes of money-laundering. “Money-laundering risk” increases when there is less knowledge of the customer and internal controls are inadequate. These factors impair the ability of intermediaries to comply correctly with the suspicious-transaction reporting requirements and can ultimately undermine their reputation.
2. Knowing the customer
2.1 The importance of a thorough knowledge of customers
Intermediaries shall analyze the degree of anomaly of a transaction in the light of the characteristics of the customer who carries it out.2 The objective datum shall be supplemented with the information on the customer in the intermediary’s possession, in evaluating the consistency and compatibility of the transaction with the economic and financial profile that the customer himself is required to declare. Special attention is necessary where it is found that the customer engage in no economically significant activity.
Unjustified incongruities with respect to the customer’s subjective characteristics and normal operations in terms of both transaction amounts and types require activating the reporting procedure.
The transactions are to be evaluated on the basis of the information concerning the income-earning capacity and requirements of the customer in the possession of the intermediaries. The latter must therefore refrain from further verifying actions, which are the responsibility of the institutionally competent authorities.
A thorough knowledge of the customer is a basic component of the logical process of evaluating transactions for the purposes of transmitting a suspicious-transaction report. At the same time it is also a precondition for intermediation, because it enables the intermediary to identify the risk profiles of the business relationship and its scope for growth.
Intermediaries shall take every appropriate action to improve their knowledge of customers and pick up any contradictions between a customer’s economic profile and the services the customer requests.
Intermediaries shall endeavour to establish a relationship of communication with customers in a climate of mutual trust. Customers shall be informed of the requirements and aims of the anti-money-laundering legislation and of the confidentiality rules governing the use of the data collected. This fosters cooperation in the identification procedures and in obtaining clarifications, further information or documents that needed. Where a customer proposes opaque transaction procedures, the intermediary must explain the possible risks thereof and suggest correct procedures.
2In the Instructions the expression “customers” applies to all persons who have relationships with banking, financial and insurance intermediaries and with the other persons subject to the reporting requirements, normally identified by other expressions such as users, investors, insured, contracting parties, acquirers, borrowers, etc.