We strive to balance our due diligence requirements with the practicalities of business. We are 100% committed to client confidentiality.
In order to meet our statutory duty regarding the prevention of terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering, we are committed to undertaking a full and thorough due diligence of both our clients’ identities and the nature of their businesses.
We are obliged by law to obtain the following information relating to all beneficial owners, directors, shareholders, bank account signatories, and all parties connected in any way to any company, business entity or trust we may form or administer:
- Proof of identity;
- Proof of residential address.
For audit purposes, we also require
- A bank reference;
- A professional reference or up-to-date resume.
Proof of Identity
To validate the identity of all parties mentioned, a copy of ONE of the following documents is required for each party:
- Valid full passport;
- Valid national ID card;
- Valid driver’s license.
Such copy must bear a photograph, a signature and the issue number.
The copy must be certified by any of the following:
- An employee of Meridian Trust Company Limited;
- A notary public;
- A lawyer.
The certified copy sent to us must bear the original signature of the person certifying it. The person certifying the copy must have sight of the original Proof of Identity and certify the copy in the presence of the individual concerned by inserting the following text (or similar) on the copy:
“Having seen the individual and the identification documentation at the same time, I certify this is a true copy of the original and that the photograph is a reasonable likeness.”
– Position / Capacity
Proof of Residential Address
To validate the home address of all parties mentioned, ONE of the following documents is required for each party:
- Original recent (within last 3 months) utility bill (fixed line telephone, water, electricity etc.);
- Original recent bank or mortgage statement from a recognized bank;
- Original recent credit card statement.
Professional Reference or Resume
In order to understand our clients’ backgrounds, and to assist in the opening of bank accounts, we require information about our clients’ work experience, education and qualifications.
Source of Wealth
A statement is required from the principal(s) offering a brief description as to the origins of his/her wealth and the period over which the wealth was generated.
We need to be fully appraised of both the rationale behind the establishment of a company or trust and its modus operandi. To this end we require a detailed description of the business activity, source of funds, the geographic spread, the anticipated annual turnover and information relating to the frequency and value of transactions.
These may be faxed or scanned and e-mailed to us but the originals must be sent to us by courier or mail and regretfully we cannot undertake to commence work until the originals have been received.
In Turks and Caicos, the normal common law duty of confidentiality applicable to banks is extended to all relationships between professional and clients, and a breach of confidentiality is elevated from a civil to a criminal wrong. Subject to certain exceptions in relation to the detection of crime, it is an offence under the Confidential Relationships Ordinance to divulge or attempt to divulge, or to obtain or attempt to obtain, information of a confidential nature. Similar provisions in relation to exempted companies are also contained in the Companies Ordinance. The confidentiality provisions will not avail in cases where there is clear prima facie evidence of criminal activity, that is to say, theft, fraud, dealing in illegal drugs, etc.