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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Act, 2009 [PMLA] has come into force with effect from 1st June 2009 & Master Circular – RBI/SEBI & Multi Level Marketing (MLM) firms

Download RBI Master Circular on Money Laundering / Know Your Customer (KYC).  This is in continuation of the same.

Preservation  Period of Records

The Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Act, 2009 (No. 21 of 2009) has come into force with effect from June 01, 2009 as notified by the Government. In terms of Sub-Section 2(a) of Section 12 of The Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Act, 2009 (PMLA, 2009), the records referred to in clause (a) of Sub-Section (1) of Section 12 shall be maintained for a period of ten years from the date of transaction between the clients and the banking company and in terms of Sub-Section 2(b) of Section 12 of the Act ibid, the records referred to in clause (c) of Sub-Section (1) of Section 12 shall be maintained for a period of ten years from the date of cessation of transaction between the clients and the banking company.

Accordingly, in modification of paragraph 2.16(iii) (a) of the above said master circular dated July 1, 2009, banks are advised to maintain for at least ten years from the date of transaction between the bank and the client, all necessary records of transactions referred to at Rule 3 of the Prevention of Money-Laundering (Maintenance of Records of the Nature and Value of Transactions, the Procedure and Manner of Maintaining and Time for Furnishing Information and Verification and Maintenance of Records of the Identity of the Clients of the Banking Companies, Financial Institutions and Intermediaries) Rules, 2005 (PMLA Rules), both domestic or international, which will permit reconstruction of individual transactions (including the amounts and types of currency involved, if any) so as to provide, if necessary, evidence for prosecution of persons involved in criminal activity.

However, records pertaining to the identification of the customer and his address (e.g. copies of documents like passports, identity cards, driving licenses, PAN card, utility bills etc.) obtained while opening the account and during the course of business relationship, as indicated in paragraph 2.16(iii)(b) of the above said master circular dated July 1, 2009, would continue to be preserved for at least ten years after the business relationship is ended as required under Rule 10 of the Rules ibid.

Accounts of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs)

Detailed guidelines on Customer Due Diligence (CDD) measures to be made applicable to Politically Exposed Person (PEP) and their family members or close relatives are contained in paragraph 2.5(iv) of the master circular.  It is further advised  that in the event of an existing customer or the beneficial owner of an existing account,subsequently becoming a PEP, banks should obtain senior management approval to continue the business relationship and subject the account to the CDD measures as applicable to the customers of PEP category including enhanced monitoring on an ongoing basis.

Principal Officer

Banks have been advised in Para 2.15 of the master circular referred to above that banks should appoint a senior management officer to be designated as Principal Officer and the role and responsibilities of the Principal Officer have been detailed therein. With a view to enable the Principal Officer to discharge his responsibilities,  it is advised that that the Principal Officer and other appropriate staff should have timely access to customer identification data and other CDD information, transaction records and other relevant information. Further, banks should ensure that the Principal Officer is able to act independently and report directly to the senior management  or  to the Board of Directors.

Source: RBI/2009-10/152 DBOD. AML.BC. No.43 /14.01.001/2009-10 dated 11/09/2009

Further, in view of opening and conduct of the accounts of Multi Level Marketing (MLM) firms, we (RBI) advise that banks should be careful in opening accounts of the marketing/trading agencies etc. Especially, strict compliance with KYC and AML guidelines contained in circulars UBD.CO.BPD (PCB) No. 1/12.05.001/2008-09 dated July 02, 2008 and UBD.PCB. Cir. 30/09.161.00/2004-05 dated December 15, 2004 issued by RBI should be ensured in the matter.

In cases where accounts have already been opened in the names of the marketing agencies, retail traders, investment firms, the banks may undertake quick reviews. Wherever large number of cheque books has been issued to such firms, the relative decision may be reviewed in the light of the following:

  • Whether the cheque books have been issued to customers on the basis of their express request and after following the internal processes laid down in the matter.
  • Whether the number of cheque books is consistent with/matching the profile of the customers as also their nature of business operations.

Even where the volume of transactions/profile of the customers apparently justify the number of cheque books issued, special ongoing monitoring of the operations in the accounts of such types of firms should be made especially if large volumes of small cash deposits are being made in those accounts and withdrawals are being made there from, through cheques written for small amounts, either across the counters or through clearing. In respect of such account holders banks may, in specific cases, call for the data from the account holders on the number and aggregate amount of post dated cheques issued. The data/information so collected should be analysed in select cases to rule out the possibility of the firms being engaged in deposit taking activities. Certain indicative parameters for selecting accounts for further scrutiny and action are the bunching of dates of the post dated cheques, the uniformity in the amounts of cheques etc. These data should be analysed together with data on cash deposits of small amounts on previous distant dates resembling the deposit contracting/mobilizations dates in terms of similar bunching and uniformity of amounts.

Please acknowledge receipt. Also, unusual operations noticed during the above review may be immediately reported to us and other appropriate authorities, such as, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU-IND), Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, Hotel Samrat (6th Floor), Chanakyapuri, New Delhi - 110 021.

Source: RBI/2009-10/158 UBD. CO. BPD. PCB.Cir. No.9/12.05.001 / 2009-10 dated 16/09/2009

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