Gstaad Brokers Ltd. is committed to the highest standards of Anti-Money Laundering (AML). The members of the Management Board and all employees are required to adhere to these standards to protect Gstaad Broker and its reputation from being misused for money laundering and/or terrorist financing or other illegal purposes. Gstaad Broker will examine its AML and AFC strategies, goals, and objectives on an ongoing basis and maintain an effective program. Gstaad Broker has implemented clear rules and regulations detailed in the AML and operations procedure manuals and which must be complied with by all Gstaad Broker staff. Gstaad Broker has developed a clear set of policies and procedures outlining its general AML standards and principles. Detailed documents ensure that these standards are implemented into day-to-day business.
All policies and policy-related documents are published on a global policy platform so they can be accessed by all staff at any time. They are subject to an annual review cycle to ensure their conformity with AML regulations.
The purpose of the Policy is to define the Company’s internal practice, measures, procedures and
controls relevant to the prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.
- “Beneficial Owner” means the natural person or natural persons, who ultimately owns or controls the Client and/or the natural person on whose behalf a transaction or activity is being conducted. The Beneficial Owner shall at least include:
(a) In the case of corporate entities:
- The natural person or natural persons, who ultimately own or control a legal entity through direct or indirect ownership or control of a sufficient percentage of the shares or voting rights or ownership interest in that entity, including through bearer shareholdings, or through control via other means, other than a company listed on a regulated market that is subject to disclosure requirements consistent with Union law or subject to equivalent international standards which ensure adequate transparency of ownership information. A shareholding of 10 % plus one share or an ownership interest of more than 10 % in the customer held by a natural person or by multiple corporate entities, which are under the control of the same natural person, shall be an indication of direct ownership.
- If, after having exhausted all possible means and provided there are no grounds for suspicion, no person under point (i) is identified, or if there is any doubt that the person identified are the beneficial owner, the natural person who holds the position of senior managing official, the obliged entities shall keep records of the actions taken in order to identify the beneficial ownership under point (i) and this point;
(b) In the case of trusts or in the case of legal entities such as foundations, and legal arrangements similar to trusts:
- The settlor;
- The trustee(s);
- The protector, if any;
The beneficiaries, or where the individuals benefiting from the legal arrangement or entity have yet to be determined, the class of persons in whose main interest the legal arrangement or entity is set up or operates; v. Any other natural person exercising ultimate control over the trust by means of direct or indirect ownership or by other means;
- “Law” means the Anti Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act 2020.
- “Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing” means the money laundering offences defined in Section 3,4, 5, and 6 of the Law.
- “Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs)” means the natural persons who have their place of residence in any third counties and who are or have been entrusted with prominent public functions and their immediate family members or persons known to be close associates of such persons.
3. Main Objectives
- Combating and preventing money laundering and terrorist financing and taking all the necessary preventive measures.
- Preventing the misuse of the Company by anyone or anybody in illegitimate operations.
- Determining the legal and administrative responsibilities of the Company and of all its employees related to anti-money laundering.
- Reporting the suspicious operations which include the probable activities of the operations of money laundering and terrorist financing to the competent authorities.
- Training all employees on the rules and internal procedures which have to be observed, the risks that they and the Company face, and how they can encounter the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing through their operations from their positions.
4. Company Commitment
The Company is committed to:
- Accept only those Clients whose identity can be established and verified and whose source of funds can be reasonably established to be legitimate.
- Not establish a business relationship, open accounts or maintain accounts for anonymous persons or those with fictitious names including anonymous accounts.
- Make every possible effort to know the identity of the customer and the real beneficiary (Beneficiary Owner) of the account (i.e. the full name, the place and date of birth and verifying the identity by using valid, official and accredited documents “identification data” issued by the official bodies), in addition to the data and information available from trusted independent sources.
- Apply a risk-based approach, and enhanced customer due diligence where required.
- Monitor and identify suspicious transactions and activities and ensure that reportable ones get reported.
- Provide periodic and appropriate AML/CTF training and information to all employees to increase their awareness using various methods.
- Maintain records, which are appropriate to the nature and complexity of the customer’s business.
5. Client Acceptance Policy
- The Client Acceptance Policy (hereinafter the “CAP”), following the principles and guidelines described in the Company’s AML-CFT Manual (hereinafter: “Manual”), defines the criteria for accepting new Clients and defines the Client categorization criteria, which shall be followed by the Company and especially by the employees who shall be involved in the Client Account Opening process.
- The Anti Money Laundering Compliance Officer (hereinafter “AMLCO”) shall be responsible for applying all the provisions of the CAP. In this respect, the Head of the Back Office Department shall also be assisting the AMLCO with the implementation of the CAP, as applicable.
- The General Principles of the CAP are the following:
- The Company shall classify Clients into various risk categories and based on the risk perception decide on the acceptance criteria for each category of Client
- Where the Client is a prospective Client, an account must be opened only after the relevant pre-account opening due diligence and identification measures and procedures have been conducted, according to the principles and procedures set in the Manual.
- All documents and data described in the Manual must be collected before accepting a new Client
- No account shall be opened in anonymous or fictitious names(s) Management and Controls of AML Risk
Gstaad Broker maintains a comprehensive set of measures to identify, manage and control its AML risk. These measures are:
b) A robust and strict KYC program
c) A training and awareness program for Gstaad Broker staff
d) Processes to ensure staff reliability
Adherence to the group-wide AML/AFC program needs to be reviewed regularly to ensure that the Company’s efforts are successful. The Compliance Manager/AML Officer is obliged to conduct appropriate controls.
7. KYC Program
Gstaad Broker has implemented a strict KYC program to ensure all kinds of customers (natural or legal persons or legal structures, correspondent banks) are subject to adequate identification, risk rating and monitoring measures. This program has been implemented globally and throughout all business divisions.
KYC includes not only knowing the clients and entities the Bank deals with (either as a single transaction or ongoing relationship), or renders services to, but also the Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs), Legal Representatives, and Authorised Signatories as appropriate.
The program includes strict identification requirements, name screening procedures, and ongoing monitoring and regular review of all existing business relationships.
Special safeguards are implemented for business relationships with politically exposed persons (PEPs) and clients from countries or industries deemed high risk.
8. Training Program
Gstaad Broker implements a comprehensive AML/AFC training program to ensure that all staff, in particular individuals responsible for transaction processing and/or initiating and/or establishing business relationships, undergo AML awareness training.
The training is tailored to the business to ensure that staff are aware of different possible patterns and techniques of money laundering which may occur in their everyday business. Training also covers the general duties arising from applicable external (legal and regulatory), internal requirements and the resulting individual duties which must be adhered to in everyday business as well as typologies to recognise money laundering or financial crime activities.
9. Record Retention
All data obtained according to client identification and AML security measures must be documented. Records must be kept for a minimum of 7 years, notwithstanding potentially longer retention periods under local civil or commercial law.
For further information, please contact the Compliance Department at [email protected].