Confessions of a compliance officer: How I handled dodgy demands
13 Mar 2019

A London-based compliance officer looks back at some of the requests he came across and tells KYC360 how he reacted on the occasions he smelt trouble. He did not wish to disclose his name and details.

Being a compliance officer has some highs and lows, and some colourful moments too. Regarding the latter, I’ve come across some odd requests during my time. What did I do about them?

Well, one London bank I worked for did a lot of business with Swiss private banks. We accessed these private banks through local Swiss investment advisors, who we would remunerate with a fee of up to 4 per cent of the nominal value of any transactions we executed with the Swiss banks.

Through our KYC procedures, we knew that one Swiss investment advisor had been born, brought up in Switzerland, attended a local university, married a Swiss woman and sent his children to local schools.

On one transaction, he requested that his fee be paid to his bank account in Singapore.

As I had been repeatedly told that Switzerland had the best banking industry in the world, I asked him why he wanted his fee paid to his account in Singapore.

“Bank fees are cheaper in Singapore” was the reply.

A Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) was swiftly submitted.

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