Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 26th 2015 Contents For financial institutions,
not knowing your cus-
tomer is no longer an
option. Not knowing is
akin to courting danger
and financial distress.
Know your customer---KYC---has become
a buzzword in the financial services sector.
Not only has KYC become mandatory but also
legally binding for financial institutions to
identify the persons who seek to do financial
transactions with them and know them fully
once they become customers.
With that in mind, the UTC has embarked
on a project known as the unitholder register
"clean up" exercise, an initiative that will allow
us to meet statutory and international regu-
latory guidelines, as required by the Central
Bank and Foreign Account Tax Compliance
Act (FATCA) regulations.
As a major player in the local financial serv-
ices sector, the UTC is committed to imple-
menting international best practice into its
policies, strategies and processes. We are cur-
rently streamlining our operations to incor-
porate measures to determine and address
unitholders who possess US indicia and to
institute these processes in such a manner
that unitholders are not negatively impacted
in any way.
A direct benefit of this clean-up initiative
would be compliance with Anti-Money Laun-
dering (AML) and Combating the Financing
of Terrorism (CFT) legislative and regulatory
requirements. The global threat of money
laundering and the financing of terrorism have
led financial sector regulators and financial
institutions to strengthen their vigilance in
support of the efforts of government to more
readily detect attempts to launder money and
finance terrorism, and to minimise the pos-
sibility that their jurisdictions or institutions
become involved in such activities.
This is why KYC requirements remains a
KYC is the process regulated markets utilise
to identify clients and ascertain pertinent
information before engaging in business with
them. Not only is it a requirement for financial
institutions to conform to due diligence and
financial regulatory legislation but to prevent
financial institutions from being used by crim-
inal elements for money laundering and illegal
While the specific details of KYC require-
ments may differ between jurisdictions and
regulatory regimes, organisations are required
to understand their customers and clients, this
includes identifying the clients' business, source
of funds and wealth, purpose of specific trans-
actions, expected nature and level of trans-
actions and countries from which the cus-
KYC requirements mandates that more
detailed information is now required to open
accounts, perform transactions and operate
pre-existing accounts. Where KYC require-
ments are not adhered to, financial institutions
would have the right to refuse business or
turn away a customer or client. Financial insti-
tutions may also request additional information
to support their customers' profile (both new
and longstanding) for transactions to be effect-
ed. Don't be alarmed if the next time, you
decide to establish a new account, you are
requested to provide proof of identity, residence
and income. It is not meant to be cause anxiety
but to ensure your protection.
At the UTC, our primary focus is to meet
the evolving needs of our unitholders and to
bring value to what we do in a highly com-
petitive space. We also recognise that our
unitholders are the ones that drive our quest
for excellence. We want to work with our
unitholders to build enduring relationships,
and this unitholder clean-up exercise is an
invaluable tool on this path.
Not only will this improve our governance
structure but will ensure that all demographic
and non-financial unitholder information on
our database is current, relevant and accurate.
Such information will allow us to take a critical
look at our unitholders' records and improve
our unitholder database. Moreover, it will allow
us to have deeper knowledge and insight of
our unitholders, resulting in the provision of
products and services that are better suited
to our customers' financial needs.
With approximately 580,000 unitholders
and about $20 billion in funds under man-
agement, we are targeting both new and exist-
ing unitholders during this clean-up exercise,
a collaborative effort between UTC and our
valued unitholders meant to bring not only
efficiency to our operations but to value to
the way we do business with our customers.
Our goal is greater customer satisfaction.
In order to achieve this, we need our unithold-
ers to come in and work with us on providing
the information. We expect to have the exercise
completed in three years, 2018.
In summary, the clean-up exercise will allow
us to become compliant with the statutory
and regulatory requirements. More significantly,
it will ensure that we become better positioned
to serve our customers.
In the words of entrepreneur Jeff Bezos,
Amazon founder and CEO, "We see our cus-
tomers as invited guests to a party, and we
are the hosts. It's our job every day to make
every important aspect of the customer expe-
rience a little bit better."
Our clean-up exercise is aimed at doing just
SBG12 PERSONAL FINANCE
SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt APRIL 26 • 2015
Unit Trust Corporation
UTC unitholder clean-up exercise...
value to our
and about $20 billion
in funds under
management, we are
targeting both new
unitholders during this
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