At Wilson Browne we are committed to protecting our clients, both existing and new, from fraudulent use of their names and addresses by criminals for money laundering purposes.
Money Laundering is the way in which criminals disguise money they make from their crimes. ‘Dirty’ money is turned into clean funds by introducing it into the banking system, making it harder to detect and confiscate. This money is often used to fund further crimes. Since 1994, all banks, building societies and other businesses providing financial services have put procedures in place to stop criminals and terrorists from laundering money.
The first step in the laundering process is for criminals to get their money into an account with a bank or building society, often using a false identity and address.
To stop this, we often must have proof of identity and address from you before you instruct us. This does not mean that we suspect you of money laundering, but we are required by law to have evidence to show that you are who you say you are and that you live at the address you say you do.
These procedures ensure we are not only complying with the law, but are also doing our best to protect all of our clients.
Proof of Identity
So that we can confirm your identity we will need to see one form of ‘evidence of identity’ and one form of ‘proof of address’. The documents you can provide to prove your identity are as follows:-
Evidence of identity:
- Current signed passport
- Current full UK driving licence (please bring both sections of a photocard licence)
- Current UK provisional photocard driving licence (please bring both sections)
- Inland Revenue PAYE Coding Notice
- Benefits book or Benefits Agency/Department for Work and Pensions Notification letter
- Residence permit
- Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) Certificate (CIS4(T), CIS4(P) or CIS6
- Services Identity Card
- Current Firearms Certificate
Proof of address:
- Current full UK driving licence (if not already used as evidence of identity)
- Current UK provisional photocard driving licence (if not already used as evidence of identity)
- Bank, building society or credit union statement or passbook (with printed address)
- Recent utility bill, i.e. gas, electric (not a mobile phone bill)
- Current local authority tax bill
- Most recent original mortgage statement
- Benefits book or Benefits Agency/Department for Work and Pensions Notification letter (if not already used as evidence of identity)
- Solicitor’s correspondence (relating to a house purchase and less than 2 months old)
- Local council rent card or local council tenancy agreement
Some of these items may be subject to certain conditions.
Please do not worry if you do not have any of the items listed above. Although the law does require us to have satisfactory proof of your identity and address, we do have alternative procedures for clients who have reasonable grounds for not being able to produce any of the above.
Occasionally to comply with Bank of England sanctions and guidelines from the Financial Action Task Force on money laundering, there may be additional checks and documents required if you are a national or resident of certain countries.
Solicitors are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of clients confidential. This obligation, however, is subject to a statutory exception; the recent legislation on money laundering and terrorist financing has placed solicitors under a legal duty in certain circumstances to disclose information to the National Crime Agency. Where a solicitor knows or suspects that a transaction on behalf of a client involves money laundering, the solicitor may be required to make a money laundering disclosure. If this happens, we may not be able to inform you that a disclosure has been made, or of the reasons for it because the law prohibits “tipping off”.
If you require more information about our Money Laundering Policy please contact our Money Laundering Compliance Officer Philip Hobbs.