Recent changes to the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act) are being put in place by bank providers. By 1 December 2015 all Australian financial institutions are required to verify and identify Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs) of bank accounts. It is expected the majority of banks will move before this date (this information is currently required by some banks already).

Due to AML legislation changes, banks will require further information to identify and verify customers, for example, source of funds; occupation for each signatory; nature of business for both corporates and trusts; beneficial owners for both corporates and trusts and including classes of beneficiaries and more recently nationality.

So what is an Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO)?

An Ultimate Beneficial Owner refers to the natural person(s) who ultimately owns or controls a customer and/or the person on whose behalf a transaction is being conducted. It also incorporates those persons who exercise ultimate effective control over a legal person or arrangement.

What does the latest change mean for you?

To comply with the AML requirements, banks must collect and verify UBO information. This includes entities such as corporate trustees and Trust Accounts. You will need to ensure that this information is now provided in the application process. Some of this information may require a full ASIC Search which lists directors and shareholder information.

If your require clarification of indentifying requirements for various entities, please contact your adviser at WLM.