The smuggling of illegally acquired money into economic circulation is termed money laundering. Illegal money is the result of illegal activities such as drug dealing or the trading of arms. An attempt is made to hide the origins of illegal money in such a way that it is no longer possible to determine where it originally came from. The most common means of money laundering can be broken down into three sections:
Placement: Illegal money is paid into the financial system.
Layering: The money is separated from its original illegal source, frequently by means of complex financial transactions to disguise the audit trail.
Integration: The money is put back into economic circulation from a legal source; the money has been successfully “laundered".
Both the financing and support of money laundering, and also the use of money that stems from money laundering transactions, are criminal offences. Aiding and abetting and concealment can be evaluated as criminal offences in conjunction with money laundering. These criminal offences can be committed by anyone who is aware (or should have been aware by the normal standard applied to persons in such a position), that the money comes from an illegal source. These criminal offences are punishable by unlimited fines and prison sentences.
The SUISSE BANK GROUP only offers its services to legal entities, such as individual persons and companies who are shareholders of SUISSE BANK PLC. Potential shareholders must subject themselves, as is standard international practice, to careful vetting so that we can check their legitimacy.
Although these potential shareholders are frequently also introduced by brokers, the SUISSE BANK GROUP, and not the broker, is responsible for checking the identity as well as the legitimacy of the potential shareholder. Due to the fact that some of our brokers are based in states in which there is an increased money laundering risk, we have set high standards for the documents required to accept a shareholder’s application. This process is described in detail in the application form for shareholders and in terms of its requirements, it corresponds to the international standard that is customary for banks.
However, our due diligence does not end once a shareholder has been accepted. Before we accept a shareholder’s application for a guarantee or comparable loan, we demand proof from this shareholder of the legality of the business activity or the contract for which the guarantee is to be issued to prevent money laundering.