The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday announced that a set of tougher money laundering rules would be implemented on Jan. 1, including requiring banks to verify clients’ identities.
Banks will have to confirm the identities of clients involved in cross-border fund transfers of more than NT$30,000(US$942.86).
“The change is aimed at regulating nonroutine transactions conducted by companies and other legal entities at banks where they are not account holders,” Banking Bureau Deputy Director-General Lu Hui-jung (呂蕙容) told a news conference in Taipei.
Representatives of companies and legal entities would be required to provide banks with a full list of shareholders and account beneficiaries, Lu said.
“Most consumers would not be affected as the central bank already requires banks to have their clients fill out remittance memos and present two forms of photo IDs for overseas transactions,” she said.
The new rules adhere to the guidelines set by the Financial Action Task Force, which is an inter-governmental group established in 1989 to set standards and promote the implementation of legal and operational measures to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other threats to the international financial system.
The commission will also increase its monitoring of transactions involving politically exposed persons in Taiwan and abroad, who, by the virtue of their prominence and influence, could be at higher risk for involvement in bribery and corruption.
Banks are allowed to set their own guidelines on regulating overseas transactions, as setting a specific amount would only encourage people to avoid transferring sums that exceed the limit, Lu said.
Banks will also have to establish their own independent anti-money-laundering departments as of April 1 next year, which should give them enough time to prepare, she said.
The new departments must be led by at least one high-level manager whose sole duty will be to oversee compliance efforts and report to their bank’s board of directors and supervisors at least once every six months, she said.
Employees in domestic banks’ compliance departments will have until the end of June next year to earn the required international certifications, she said.
However, employees with more than three years of experience in money laundering and counterterrorist financing would be exempt from the requirement, she said.
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