Sanctions Search and PEP Screening
Our automated platform uniquely equips you to carry out sanction searches and checks for PEPs and RCAs. If our software finds a match for your client, we’ll filter out false negatives, and alert you once the match has been confirmed.
What are Sanctions and PEPs?
Sanctions are restrictions used to stop individuals and entities who are involved in – or suspected of – illegal activities from engaging in certain industries. Government bodies and financial authorities both issue sanctions lists; these can be used to screen individuals and organisations for financial sanctions.
A PEP, or Politically Exposed Person, is someone who holds a prominent position in public life – for example a senior member of government or law enforcement – making them more vulnerable to bribery and corruption.
Sanctions searches and PEP screenings are a central component of your AML checks, as they confirm that your client doesn’t present a money laundering risk.
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The SmartSearch system completes Sanction and PEP screening on every AML check you perform, automatically triggering Enhanced Due Diligence on any matches. It then screens all customers every night and alerts you of any changes.
There’s no official source that lists all sanctions, PEPs and RCAs, so manual screening is challenging. What makes SmartSearch screenings so accurate? We use the Dow Jones WatchList – a combination of over 1,100 databases, updated daily.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are financial sanctions?
Financial sanctions are legal restrictions, put in place by the government to limit or prevent entirely the trading of individuals, companies or whole countries. They are usually levied against people or corporations who have committed financial crimes, and fall into one of three categories: the freezing of assets, specific restrictions on financial markets and orders to cease all trading.
What are sanctions lists?
Used by financial authorities and governments all over the world, sanctions lists are databases which detail all the financial sanctions that are currently active in a specific state, country or continent. Some of the most well-known examples in the industry are the United Nations list, the UK Consolidated list and the EU Consolidated list.
Which sanctions are included in the UK sanctions list?
The UK Consolidated list, which is the most widely used official list of financial sanctions in the UK, details three types of sanctions. These are the following: targeted asset freezes, financial restrictions and directions to cease all business.
Which countries are subject to sanctions?
Every country is legally obliged to adhere to any financial sanctions levied against it, if it’s enforced by the relevant authorities (for example, the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation in the UK).
What are the risks when you fail to screen for sanctions?
If you fail to include a sanctions search when carrying out your AML checks, you could end up unwittingly entering into business with a client or customer who is currently sanctioned. In the UK, having dealings with any sanctioned business or individual is illegal if those dealings break the terms of the arrangement, except in very specific circumstances when a license is required. If you’re found out, the consequences can include substantial fines or even a prison sentence, as it’s considered an AML compliance failure.
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