The Anti-Money Laundering & Know Your Customer Policy (“AMF/KYC Policy”) sets out the guidelines for FMR’s compliance with AML/KYC obligations under the law, as well as regulatory directives, and actively prevents any transaction that facilitates criminal activities.
Money laundering and financing terrorism are financial crimes with economic effects. It requires an underlying primary profit-making crime such as corruption, drug trafficking, market manipulation, fraud, tax evasion, etc., with the intent to conceal the proceeds of the crime and to further the criminal enterprise. AML/KYC compliance program helps mitigate the adverse effects of criminal economic activity and promote integrity and stability in financial markets. It is also critical to preserving the Company’s corporate integrity, reputation, and operational efficiency.
- Money Laundering –Money laundering (ML) has been defined as the process whereby criminals attempt to conceal the illegal origin and/or illegitimate ownership of property and assets that are the proceeds of their criminal activities. It is, thus, a derivative crime (Central Bank of Nigeria Manual)
- Terrorism Financing –includes both legitimate and illegitimate money characterized by concealment of the origin or intended criminal use of the funds
- Know Your Customer –This entails obtaining and verifying customer identity, preservation of records of customers, mandatory disclosure of transactions to authorized statutory bodies
- Customer Due Diligence –This covers steps taken by FMR to identify its clients and validate their identities.
- Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit –The Nigerian arm of the global Financial Intelligence Unit(FIU)
- Politically Exposed Persons –Individuals who are or have been entrusted with prominent public functions in any country; generally presenting a higher risk for potential involvement in bribery and corruption by virtue of their position and the influence that they may hold
The purpose of this Policy manual is to:
- Provide guidance on the standards of conduct and practice that must be followed in the implementation of the Know Your Customer (KYC) and Customer Due Diligence (CDD) requirements of the capital market
- Protect the Company against fraud, reputational and other financial market risks
- Minimize the risks faced by the Company from proceeds of crime
- Protect the integrity of the securities market against all forms of abuse, fraudulent and unfair trade practices
1.4 POLICY STATEMENT
The following statements shall guide the principles and procedures for the AML/KYC compliance program.
- Formulate and implement internal controls and other procedures that will deter criminals from using its facilities for money laundering and terrorist financing and to ensure that its obligations under subsisting laws and Regulations are met
- Designate AML/KYC Chief Compliance Officer at the Management level, with the relevant competence, authority, and independence to implement the institution’s AML/KYC compliance program
- Comply with the requirements of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended), Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 (as amended) and Terrorism Prevention (Freezing of International Terrorists Funds and other Related Measures) Regulations 2013, including related laws and Regulations
- Comply promptly with all the requests made pursuant to subsisting laws and Regulations and shall provide relevant information to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and other relevant law enforcement agencies on AML/KYC matters
- Identify and report to the NFIU, in the course of its business, any suspicious transactions derived from the criminal activities defined in AML/KYC SEC Regulations
- Ensure the implementation of the requirements of the AML/KYC Act are not inhibited through the
Company’s Confidentiality Agreement or Policy
- Exit relationships which pose heightened money laundering risks to FMR
- Effectively communicate this Policy to raise the level of staff awareness on AML/KYC issues
1.4.1 KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER (KYC)
KYC is the due diligence that Financial Institutions, Financial Market Operators, Capital Market Operators, Financial Market Infrastructures and other regulated companies must perform to identify their clients and ascertain relevant information before carrying-out any financial businesses with them. A client for the purposes of KYC policy is defined as:
- An entity that has a business relationship with FMR
- Any entity connected with a financial transaction, which can pose a significant reputational or another risk to FMR.
Specifically, FMR’s KYC policies and procedures emphasise the following:
- Obtaining the necessary documents and information from every client (anyone who FMR receives money from to provide a business)
- Obligation to report to the regulatory authorities on suspicious transactions, which may ultimately have a bearing on money laundering activities
- Updating client information as frequently as practicable
- Identifying the client as well as their beneficial owners and verifying such client’s identity using reliable, independent source documents, data or information
- Independent verification of legal status of incorporated entities and sole proprietorships with the Corporate Affairs Commission, in writing
- Refusal to transact business with “shell companies” as described under the International Conventions.
- Performing enhanced due diligence for higher risk clients, business relationships or transactions including:
Politically Exposed Persons (PEP), cross border transactions and business relationships or any other businesses, activities or professions as may be prescribed by regulatory, supervisory and competent authorities
1.4.2 RECORD KEEPING AND RETENTION REQUIREMENTS
FMR shall maintain all necessary records of transactions, both domestic and international for at least five (5) years after completion of the transactions or such a longer period as may be required by SEC or NFIU. Records of all suspicious transactions shall be kept for the same period.
1.4.3 REQUESTS FOR AML RECORDS BY REGULATORY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES
Upon request by a regulatory or law enforcement agency, FMR shall make available records related to AML/KYC compliance or its clients as soon as possible from the date of the request.
1.4.4 TRANSACTION REPORTING
FMR shall exercise due diligence in identifying and reporting a suspicious transaction. Suspicious transactions shall include:
- Transactions which are structured to avoid reporting and record keeping requirements
- Altered or false identification or inconsistent information or any transaction involving criminal activity in FMR’s view
- Entity that belongs to a person or organisation considered as terrorist
FMR shall ensure timely and accurate rendition of all AML/KYC returns as specified in the SEC AML/KYC Rules and Regulations as well as other relevant Regulations/Act/Guidelines/Circulars that may be issued from time to time by various government agencies.
1.4.5 AWARENESS AND TRAINING
FMR shall create awareness amongst its employees on AML/KYC through a robust training program that will include formal courses, workshops and newsletters. Such trainings shall incorporate current developments and changes to relevant guidelines as well as internal Policies, procedures, processes and monitoring systems.
FMR shall also utilise other avenues such as e-mails, laptop screensavers, display screens, posters etc.
to disseminate compliance issues arising from new rules and regulations to all Staff members.
1.4.6 POLITICALLY EXPOSED PERSONS (PEPs)
Business relationships with family members or close associates of PEPs involve reputation risks similar to those PEPs themselves. FMR shall evaluate the risks to its business operations when dealing with PEPs. The following factors shall guide identification of PEPs’ risk characteristics:
- Nature of the client and the client’s businesses – The source of the client’s wealth, the nature of the client’s business and the extent to which the client’s business history presents an increased risk for money-laundering and terrorist financing
- Purpose and activity – The size, purpose, services involved in the relationship
- Relationship – The nature and duration of FMR’s relationship with the client
- Client’s corporate structure
- Public information – Information is known or reasonably available to FMR about the client
- Board of Directors
The roles and responsibilities of the Board of Directors with respect to AML/KYC compliance include, but are not limited to:
- Ensuring that a comprehensive operational AML/KYC Compliance Policy is formulated by Management
- Ratifying the AML/KYC Compliance Policy as approved by the Board Regulation and Risk Management Committee (BRRMC)
- Decision-making based on quarterly reports received on AML/KYC matters
- Board Regulation and Risk Management Committee (BRRMC)
BBRMC is tasked with the responsibility of:
- Approving the AML/KYC Compliance Policy
- Reviewing all periodic report on AML/KYC matters
- Ensuring that Management forwards all required periodic reports to the relevant regulatory authorities
- Providing guidelines regarding the management of AML/KYC compliance risks
- The Executive Committee (ExCo) – Risk
ExCo-Risk responsibilities would include the following:
- Setting the tone from the top in enforcing and in fostering open and receptive attitude towards compliance
- Ensuring that adequate controls are in place to mitigate the identified compliance risks
- Ensuring sufficient resources and support to the Compliance & Risk Management Group (CRG) to carry out its functions
- Encouraging active cooperation and feedback among all FMR staff by creating open lines of communication with Compliance & Risk Management Group (CRG) and Control& Audit Group (CAG)
IV. Group Head, CRG
The duties of the Group Head, CRG in FMR include:
- Developing an AML/KYC Compliance Programme
- Informing ExCo-Risk of AML/KYC compliance efforts, compliance failures and the status of corrective actions
- Ensuring implementation of Board decisions on compliance matters
- Ensuring that regulatory changes are highlighted to ExCo-Risk and effectively implemented by FMR.
- Ensuring that compliance requirements are integrated into the day-to-day activities of FMR and that processes are efficient and in accordance with applicable laws and policies
- Coordinating the development of staff in AML/KYC awareness, detection methods and reporting requirements
- Compliance Officer
- Coordinating and monitoring day-to-day compliance with applicable money laundering laws and regulations
- Monitoring transactions to detect unusual suspicious activities
- Prompt preparation and delivery of all relevant returns to the regulatory bodies in line with SEC and FIU Rules and Regulations
- Communicating AML/KYC issues to all stakeholders
VI. Internal Audit
- Incorporating compliance testing in their normal audit program
- Reporting on results of the independent testing to the Board through the MD/CEO, as well as and the Audit Committee
- Carrying out independent review of this Policy and providing assurance to Board, Audit Committee and Management
VII. All Staff Members
- Familiarising themselves with guidelines, policies and best practices relating to their respective areas of responsibility
- Implementing the measures and approaches diligently and to the best of their ability
- Reporting any legal violations or other forms of misconduct in accordance with FMR Policies and Procedures
This Policy manual applies to FMR and its Board of Directors, Management and Staff with respect to compliance with rules and regulations that govern its operations. Specifically, the AML/KYC Compliance Procedures shall be incorporated into the operations of Business Marketing, Business Origination, Market Regulation, Examination Groups, as well as any other relevant Groups in FMR.
A breach of the anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism laws is a serious offence and could result in lengthy investigations, significant fines and criminal sanctions (including imprisonment of employees)
This Policy is in line with the requirements of the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) regulations on Capital Market Operators Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/KYC).