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A PEP is a Politically Exposed Person. This means someone who has a prominent position in public life. It is vital to identify someone who is a PEP within customer due diligence, KYC and AML procedures because PEPs are more vulnerable to bribery and corruption due to the position they have and the influence they hold. There is no global definition of what a PEP is, but most countries follow the FATF standard, which defines Foreign PEPs as “individuals who are or have been entrusted with prominent public functions by a foreign country, for example Heads of State or Heads of government, senior politicians, senior government, judicial or military officials, senior executives of state owned corporations, important political party officials.” The FATF definition of a Domestic PEP is “individuals who are or have been entrusted domestically with prominent public functions, for example Heads of State or of government, senior politicians, senior government, judicial or military officials, senior executives of state owned corporations, important political party officials.” PEPs are also defined as people who have been entrusted with a “prominent function by a state owned enterprise or an international organisation”. This will include members of senior management such as directors, deputy directors and members of the board or equivalent functions. The FAFT definition does not include middle-ranking or juniors, but does extend to family members and close associates.
The SmartSearch platform conducts PEP and sanctions checks on all AML searches, and automatically deploys Enhanced Due Diligence on anyone that matches as a PEP.
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