Everything You Need to Know about AML Checks and Screening

Billions of pounds are laundered through the UK every year, so your organisation must be protected from the real - and often hidden - threat that money laundering poses. There could be money laundering risks from various parties, so you have to ensure that you’re doing your part as a business and that everybody and everything is above board. 

That is where structured, comprehensive anti-money laundering policies and background checks can be put in place, which this guide will explain.

What is Anti-Money Laundering?

Anti-money laundering (AML for short) is based on laws and regulations set out to prevent fraud. In simple terms, it’s a blanket definition describing processes and steps that organisations take to prevent money from being illegally generated.

AML targets activities including (but not exclusively limited to):

  • Corruption
  • Tax evasion
  • Financing of terrorism
  • Reduce financial crimes
  • Market manipulation
  • Trading with illicit goods

Arguably one of the most significant challenges facing AML organisations is how plainly activity can be masked as legitimate. Money laundering involves presenting dirty money as genuine and essentially disguising or ‘cleaning’ it, so it appears to be from reputable, authentic sources.

What are AML Regulations?

Since most criminals rely on the cash flow of laundered money for their illegal activities and pursuits, AML screening checks are put in place in line with specific regulations.

The UK government’s AML regulations exist to protect companies from being used for money laundering purposes. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which operates in Europe, has developed regulations to tackle widespread money laundering. These regulations also exist to ensure sufficient controls are enforced to minimise high-risk levels, prevent illegal transfers of funds, and business relationships aren’t compromised.

As part of the UK AML regulations, companies must appoint an MLRO (Money Laundering Reporting Officer) who should be a senior employee. This person would be responsible for implementing the company’s in-house AML procedures, policies and practices.

What is an AML Check?

Anti-money laundering regulations stipulate that businesses, particularly those in the financial sector, do everything in their power to identify and report suspicious money laundering activities.

When they take on new employees and clients, organisations often conduct a series of anti-money laundering checks. These AML screening checks can include anything from KYC (Know Your Customer) checks and ID verification (see our blog on identity checks) to Electoral Register ID checks and even Sanctions Searches. They could also include transaction monitoring.

AML screening requirements are vital for some industries, including accounting firms, legal companies and those operating in line with international standards like SMCR.

Why Conduct AML Checks?

Businesses should implement regular AML screening checks to:

  • Protect themselves and their staff from any involvement in criminal activity.
  • Minimise risks to everyone on a personal and professional level.
  • Ensure they are compliant with AML regulations and legislation.
  • Prevent them from being issued hefty fines and penalties for being - knowingly or unknowingly - complicit.

How Can Eurocom CI Help Your AML Requirements?

Eurocom CI is a background check agency specialising in developing bespoke solutions for clients in numerous sectors, including financial services, security and education. Our goal is to help our clients make more informed hiring decisions and make their pre-employment background screening process as straightforward and efficient as possible.

We help organisations perform their AML background checks in real-time using technology that alleviates the complex manual process, which takes time and uses considerable resources. Remote ID verification solutions have helped us perfect how organisations hire employees virtually, as well as how they verify identities, confirm criminal records checks and ensure candidates’ identity documents are legitimate.

If you’re wondering how a solution from a pre-employment background check specialist can help you, below are just a few of the reasons:

  • We will set up a client portal bespoke to your organisation, which will allow you to see and administer any new or ongoing background checks. This includes AML compliance checks and any other ones you require as part of your onboarding process.

  • Our systems are designed to give you flexibility with all your background checks. We can implement your system to include any other checks you require, including education verification, employment history, criminal record checks or specific ones against standards like BS7858, BPSS or SMCR.

  • Our systems use cutting-edge technology so you can verify identity and progress information divulged in various checks quickly and decisively.

  • They save HR teams time, resources and ultimately, their long-term costs are kept to a minimum.

Trial AML Screening Software

To arrange a free demonstration of Eurocom CI’s background check software and see how it would work for your company’s pre-employment screening process, get in touch with our team today.