When setting up a new business, one tends to focus on how to attract and retain customers in order to ensure that a business is successful and profitable. For us a corporate service provider, engaging a new customers is an important milestone, and here is where the due diligence process comes in… getting to know our new customers.

Due diligence, a fundamental rule of business, helps you to get to know who you are dealing with and is essential for any institution when enrolling new customers. The purpose of Customer Due Diligence (CDD) is to identify any possible risks caused by the client’s interactions or actions. This will in return help institutions and their respective clients protect themselves against financial crimes and eliminate the risks of being exposed to money laundering activities, especially in today’s globalised world.

Since we’re living in a world where almost everything happens online, institutions have to be even more careful when enrolling a new client without meeting him/her face to face.

For instance, at our company, a Corporate Services Provider, we have an established process to be followed before enrolling a new client with us, whether the client is an individual or a company. Apart from understanding the business activity of the client, we need to know whether the client is considered as a high-risk customer or not. Some of the documents we ask for to ensure that we are compliant with all regulations, include a proof of identity and address, a bank reference or a professional reference and bank statement dating back six months, and a business plan, among others.

If it turns out that the customer is a high-risk, then an Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD), which provides a greater level of scrutiny, will take place. Customers are identified as such when there is adverse media, or they come from high-risk countries, or deal with high-risk countries, or if the client is a Politically Exposed Person (PEP) or is linked to one.

All due diligence processes take place to ensure a strong business relationship between us and the client.

If you need any assistance or you are interested in using any of our services, we can help you start a new business relationship with us. Mr Conrad Meli FCCA, MIA, CPA is one of our Directors and you can get in touch with him directly on cmeli@accountingservices.com.mt