Do you really know your customer?

Written by Dave Robson on Thursday October 13, 2016

Do you know your customer? Do you? Really?

If someone asked you to “sum up the financial crime risks posed by the relationship”, would you be able to do it?

Or would you come back and say “it’s fine, we have a photocopy of ID and an acceptable form of verification. That’s the box ticked, isn’t it?”

Let’s hope it’s not the latter. As that isn’t ‘fine’.

Undertaking Know Your Customer (KYC) and/or Customer Due Diligence (CDD) is mandatory. It is a regulatory requirement. You have to do it. But that shouldn’t be why you are doing it.

If you know your customer, you understand your risks (financial crime and beyond). It makes sense; commercial sense too.

And it’s important that CDD/KYC is not just a tick box exercise but is outcomes-focused.

This is why we developed the ICA Advanced Certificate in Practical Customer Due Diligence. The qualification aims to help you understand why you undertake CDD and KYC, then helps you do it well. The course is highly practical: in the workshops run by our training partner, ICT, you will be assimilating and assessing information, making judgements and looking for complications. The workshops also provide a confidential environment to discuss and debate, build a KYC profile and unravel issues such as ultimate beneficial ownership.

There is a huge amount of interest in KYC and CDD at the moment, both for new customers and as part of customer remediation projects. Regulators remain interested too with new rules recently applicable in the US and an AML enforcement action in the UK this week


Take a look at three previous Insight articles we’ve written on KYC and CDD:

1. EBA proposed guidelines on the risk-based approach and CDD risk factors 

New EU Guidelines on Risk Factors and Simplified and Enhanced CDD: It’s all about the risk-based approach so get ahead with the ICA.

2. The importance of effective and meaningful customer due diligence (CDD)

The profile of money laundering and terrorist financing risk has seen exponential growth, and the stakes have never been higher. 

3. MTOs in the Pacific rising to the de-risking challenge 

The tendency towards “de-risking” has resulted in increasingly restricted remittance streams as the cost of transferring money to some countries has escalated. 


Take a look at our certificates in customer due diligence below:

ICA Certificate in KYC and CDD

ICA Advanced Certificate in Practical Customer Due Diligence (CDD)


For more information on the full range of ICA qualifications available  please visit our qualifications page.

To stay updated on the latest regulatory and financial crime compliance developments in Switzerland, please follow us on LinkedInFacebookand Twitter, where you are guaranteed to be notified when our next insight piece goes live. 


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