Businesses prefer to hire an employee after ensuring their professionalism and skill set. Similarly, companies have to be careful with their potential clients to ensure their business security, particularly financial institutions and the banking sector. Customer due diligence, in this regard, provides a thorough investigation before and during customer onboarding. This article will explore client due diligence and its significant role in the banking and financial sector.
What is CDD (Client Due Diligence)?
Client due diligence is a process where background checks and other identification procedures of customers are performed for customer risk assessment before their onboarding. The importance of CDD cannot be overstated when it comes to Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) procedures. Moreover, the CDD process is significant in the banking and finance industry to deter money laundering, terrorism financing, and other monetary crimes.
What are the Requirements for Customer Due Diligence?
An effective customer due diligence program must fulfil certain requirements while collecting information from clients. Let’s have a look at the requirements of businesses and financial companies to ensure compliance with client due diligence.
Essential Customer Information
Businesses and financial institutions must gather certain information from their clients to verify their identity. This identity verification includes the customer’s information regarding their date of birth, place of birth, address, identification card, phone number, email address, and other information.
Necessary Business Information
Client due diligence is not merely confined to the personal information of customers. In fact, CDD measures involve the gathering of information regarding the business model of the client as well as their source of funds and beneficiaries.
Risk Assessment of Customer Profile
Customers are given different risk levels based on their profiles and identification details. The rank of risk factors, however, varies from lower to higher level risk, indicating the threat of money laundering or other monetary crime they possess. Moreover, the risk profiles of customers define the level of due diligence they require. For instance, low-risk clients require minimal due diligence, while high-risk customers must undergo in-depth due diligence procedures.
Client due diligence doesn’t just end with customer onboarding. Instead, constant ongoing monitoring is crucial to keep a check on the activities of high-risk customers, their transaction activities, and their frequently changing profiles.
Simplifying The CDD Process in Banking & Financial Industry
Compliance with AML customer due diligence while opening bank accounts has made it a complex procedure for businesses and individuals. However, client due diligence can be simplified by implementing advanced identity verifications and constant monitoring.
Despite various verification methods in the industries, businesses, banks, and financial companies now prefer to opt for enhanced identity verification procedures to accelerate customer onboarding. AI and machine learning algorithms, in this regard, play a significant role in performing instant identity checks. For instance, biometric identification systems can swiftly validate passports, faces, and other data provided for identity verification.
Constant Monitoring & Ongoing Screening
After the initial risk assessment of customers during client due diligence procedures, it is essential to ensure the constant monitoring and screening of users. Financial companies and banks can stay alert regarding the activities of their individual and business clients by following the standards set by the government and associated regulatory authorities, including FATF.
It’s critical for businesses to inspect if any of their customers are listed on PEPs or sanctions lists to reduce the risk and stay up-to-date with customer activities. It assists financial companies to take necessary actions and make informed decisions about their business dealings.
Importance of Customer Due Diligence for Banks
Considering the threats and challenges banks and financial companies are facing in today’s rapidly advancing digital world, due diligence in banking is crucial to fight against financial crimes. These countermeasures, including client due diligence, are designed to prevent heinous financial threats, including money laundering, financial terrorism, and corruption. However, some major reasons to comply with CDD regulations are as follows:
- As technology constantly evolves globally, professional criminals now opt for technical ways to hide their illegal activities.
- Banks and financial companies have always been under strict observation of financial regulatory authorities. Therefore, compliance with client due diligence is mandatory to save the reputation of banks and financial companies.
The Bottom Line
The number of banks and financial companies is growing on a global level. However, financial crimes and challenges are also at a peak. Therefore, enhanced customer due diligence procedures are a need of the hour to meet all financial challenges effectively. Banks and financial institutions must comply with all the client due diligence regulations to optimize customer onboarding and risk assessment procedures.