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PEP Screening Process and Strategies for Monitoring

Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) are high-risk customers with more opportunities to acquire assets through illegal means, such as bribery and money laundering. Identifying and screening PEPs is crucial in financial institutions to mitigate these risks. This process, known as PEP List Screening, is vital for implementing AML compliance programs.

Vasco Alexandre
Co-founder & CEO

Posted :

July 11, 2023

Featured in :

AML

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Why Should PEPs be Determined?

Bribery and corruption crimes have serious global implications, with approximately $1 trillion in bribes processed annually and corruption estimated at almost 2.6 trillion. PEP Screening is a preventive measure against crimes like bribery and corruption, enabling the detection of PEPs who are considered high-risk due to their opportunities to earn illegal income.

PEP Screening Process

The process of PEP screening is complex, with no universally accepted rules to define PEPs. It involves identifying politically exposed people, their relatives, and close associates (RCA). Different types of PEPs carry varying risks, with foreign PEPs generally posing a higher risk than domestic ones.

Sanction and PEP Screening should be performed in accordance with a Financial Institution's (FI) risk understanding, applying a risk-based approach. The screening must be done during the initial engagement process and periodically reviewed when a triggering event necessitates a Customer Due Diligence (CDD) review.

Data Quality Standards Required for PEP Screening

For effective PEP Screening, financial institutions must have complete and accurate customer data records. The minimum data required includes:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth or year
  • Country of political exposure
  • Gender
  • Politically exposed roles, appointment dates, and years
  • The date PEP left its position

PEP Risk Management Framework

Managing PEP relationships involves a variety of controls:

  • New Customer Identification: Assessing whether a customer is a PEP before or shortly after establishing a relationship.
  • Existing Customers Identification: Implementing due diligence if current customers become PEP.
  • Customer Risk Assessment: Performing a risk assessment to determine the financial crime risk posed by a PEP.
  • Approval: Senior management should approve PEP relationships.
  • Enhanced Monitoring: PEP-related customers should be subject to enhanced monitoring.
  • Training: Regular AML training programs should include information on PEP risks, policies, and processes.

How Choosing the Right Tool Can Help

Integration with Global PEP Lists

Dotfile's ability to connect with global PEP lists ensures that the screening process is always up-to-date and in line with international standards. This integration facilitates accurate identification and categorization of Politically Exposed Persons.

Customizable Risk Parameters and Automated Alerts

Understanding that different organizations have unique risk profiles, Dotfile allows for the customization of risk parameters. This flexibility ensures that the tool aligns with an organization's specific risk appetite, regulatory requirements, and operational needs.

The dynamic nature of PEP status necessitates ongoing monitoring. Dotfile's automated monitoring features enable continuous assessment of customers' risk levels. Any changes or red flags trigger alerts, allowing for prompt action.

Analyze and Collaborate

Dotfile provides valuable insights through analytics, assisting in trend analysis and pattern recognition. These insights aid in understanding the broader risk landscape and in making informed decisions.

The tool fosters collaboration across different teams and departments within an organization. By centralizing the PEP screening process, Dotfile ensures consistency and facilitates communication, contributing to a cohesive compliance strategy.

Compliance with AML Regulations

Dotfile's alignment with AML regulations ensures that the PEP screening process adheres to both local and global rules. Its robust compliance framework supports organizations in meeting their legal obligations without compromising efficiency.

Conclusion: A Vital Component of Compliance

PEP screening is not merely a formality but a vital component of AML compliance. Through a structured process of identification, risk assessment, monitoring, and continuous training, financial institutions can protect themselves against financial crimes and contribute to the broader fight against corruption and bribery.

With the global implications of financial crimes involving PEPs, a robust approach to PEP screening is not just a legal necessity but a strategic imperative for businesses. Book a demo to learn how Dotfile can help you streamline KYB and AML procedures, including PEP screening.

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