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Money laundering regulations

Comment 6th July 2010

That the requirement for financial institutions and other organisations to check customer ID is re-framed to ensure that the requirements placed on the customer are proportionate to the risk that the regulations are trying to stop, ie money laundering.

Why does this matter?

The oft quoted money laundering regulations are being interpreted by financial (and other) institutions to mean that they need to demand higher and higher standards of proof of ID. My feeling, based on  my own experience and that of others, is that this is beyond that which is reasonable and beyond that which is justified by the criminal activity the regulations are supposed to curtail. Without governement photo ID you are no one – and that is not right. If you don't drive and don't have a passport what are you supposed to do? If you pay your bills and bank via the internet you cannot produce original bills and statements. If the person behind the till knows you, that is not enough.

Better regulation ought to mean a risk based assessment of risk and appropriate and proportionate regulation. This is not happening. And people are being put to a huge amount of trouble, and are sometimes not able to undertake perfectly legitimate transactions because of this.

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