BIBA launches sanctions checking facility to meet FSA’s financial crime requirements

By Bridging Loan Directory -

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has launched a sanctions checking facility to help members comply with their obligations under the Terrorism Act and the Financial Services Authority’s (FSA) financial crime requirements. The new facility provided by Sanctions Search will enable members to ensure that their client list is screened against HM Treasury’s UK Consolidated Financial Sanctions List on a regular basis, including an option to extend checks to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (International List).

The facility is being funded in part by BIBA as a member benefit and thereafter competitive rates have been negotiated on behalf of members. All members will be pre-registered including a number of ‘free’ search credits.

Steve White, BIBA Head of Compliance and Training, said: “Brokers are subject to the UK’s terrorism legislation, which prohibits the provision of financial services to anyone on the HMT list. Brokers have a responsibility to ensure that they have in place systems and controls in relation to financial sanctions as part of FSA’s requirements. To comply with the legislation, brokers should be regularly checking their clients against the HMT list.”

Steve Foulsham, BIBA Head of Technical Services, added: “BIBA frequently receives calls from members telling us of the difficulties they are encountering when screening their clients to ensure that their customers are not target names. To overcome this, the new facility provides a cost-effective, automated financial sanctions screening service to provide members with peace of mind.”

Sanctions Search will enable BIBA members to upload their client data and have it automatically checked against the Consolidated List. Through the facility members will be provided with a robust audit trail to allow them to ‘evidence’ and ‘demonstrate’ that they have initially checked that their clients are not on the Consolidated List. The facility will also ensure that when any changes are made to the Consolidated List users’ client data will automatically be rescreened, at no additional cost, to ensure that this remains the case.

Members will be contacted by Sanctions Search shortly providing the relevant information to enable members to activate the facility and to discuss costs for individual brokers, which under the facility is based upon blocks of 150 of search credits, with the first 150 being free of charge to members.