The “Know Your Customer” (KYC) guidelines issued by the National Housing Bank aims at preventing the Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) from being used intentionally or unintentionally by criminal elements for committing financial frauds, transferring or deposits of funds derived from criminal activity or for financing terrorism. Accordingly, the Company had prepared the policy on ‘Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering Measures’ which was applicable to all the Branches and duly complied with by all the Branch Managers, frontline staff, compliance staff, and the staff dealing with the customers. The guideline being dynamic in nature was reviewed by National Housing Bank in light of subsequent developments including amendments in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act & Rules. As a consequence, the revised and amended Guidelines on “Know Your Customer” and “Anti Money Laundering Measures” have been provided for necessary approval and adoption. This amended policy document is in accordance with various guidelines issued by the National Housing Bank as also by our Company for proper identification of an account holder/ customer and for scrutiny/ monitoring of large value cash transaction or transaction of a suspicious nature.
For the purpose of KYC policy, a “Customer” shall be defined as :
3. The Company shall have to ensure that elaborate standard procedures are in place on the following aspects of customer relationships in HFCs.
Examples of customers requiring higher due diligence may include :
4. The Company shall devise a procedure for creating risk profiles of their new customers based on risk categorization. The Company shall categorize the customers according to the risk perceived to facilitate undertaking due diligence for the purpose of risk categorization. The customer profile shall contain amongst others information relating to the customers identity, social/ financial status, nature of business activity, information about the customers clients’ business and their location etc. Further, the Company shall seek information from its customers which is relevant for the loan and is in conformity to the guidelines. The customers profile with the company shall remain a confidential document and the information shall not be divulged for cross selling or any other purpose.
5. The company shall categorize risk profile of individual customers into 3 (three) basic categories in order with the profile. The categoriesy along with the illustrative examples are as below:
5. (i) Low Risk
Low Risk individuals are those individuals (other than high net worth) and entities whose identities and sources of wealth can be easily identified and the transactions in whose accounts by and large conform to known profile. Low – risk customers shall include
5. (ii) Medium Risk
The medium and high- risk customers shall be categorized on the basis of the customer’s background, nature and location of activity, country of origin, sources of funds and client profile. Medium Risk customers shalll include
5 (iii) High Risk
High risk customer shall typically include
In the event of an existing customer subsequently becoming a PEP, the Company will obtain necessary approval of the senior management to continue the business relationship with such person and if in the affirmative than the company to undertake enhanced monitoring at regular period, more descriptively stated in Annexure – 1.
7. The Company must undertake adequate steps to ensure that the implementation of this policy must not become too restrictive and must not result in denial of the Company’s services to general public, especially to those, who are financially or socially disadvantaged.
CUSTOMER IDENTIFICATION PROCEDURE
8. The Company shall follow in letter and spirit the guidelines covered under Rule 9 of the Prevention of Money-Laundering (Maintenance of Records of the Nature and Value of Transactions, The Procedure and Manner of Maintaining and Time for Furnishing information and Verification and Maintenance of Records of the Identity of the Clients of the Banking Companies, Financial Institutions and Intermediaries) Rules, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as PML Rules).
Customer identification means identifying the customer and verifying his/her identity by using reliable, independent source documents, data, or information to the satisfaction of the company.
9. The true identity and bonafide of the existing customers and new potential customers opening accounts with the Company and obtaining basic background information would be of paramount importance
9(i) The Company shall obtain sufficient identification data to verify
9(ii) The customer identification shall be through an introductory reference from an existing customer with a satisfactorily conducted account or a person known to the Company and on the basis of documents provided by the customer or through staff members knowing the potential customer or any other document from the indicative lists given in Annexure – 2 for identification and proof of residence.
9(iii) In addition to the above, the Company must also ask the applicants to give an additional document e.g. a letter from the employer giving the correct address, bank statement, credit card statement etc. In case of joint account, applicants who are not closely related to each other would be required to establish their identity and address independently.
9(iv) In respect of NRI accounts, introduction and authentication/ verification of signatures will be made by a bank/Indian embassy/ High Commissioner/ Consulate/ Notary Public/ Persons known to the Company.
9(v) For establishing identity or proof of residence Ration Card shall normally not be used as document. However, in the event of non-availability of any other document, Ration Card may also be accepted as proof of residence from Minors/Illiterate persons or house wives etc. who are unable to produce other documents.
10. Accounts of Legal Persons or Entities
10 (i) The Company must verify the legal status of the legal person/ entity through proper and relevant documents as indicated in the Annexure.
10 (ii) The Company must verify the identity of any person purporting to act on behalf of the legal person/entity and whether he/ she is so authorized and understand the ownership and control structure of the customer and determine who are the natural persons who ultimately control the legal person.
10 (iii) In case of client accounts opened by a professional intermediary the Company shalll not only identify the client / beneficial owner, but also satisfy itself that the intermediary is regulated and supervised and has adequately system in place to comply with KYC norms.
10 (iv) The decision to open accounts of a Politically Exposed Person (PEP) shall be taken only in consultation with the level of the respective Zonal Managers. The PEPs will be defined as individuals who are or have been entrusted with prominent public functions in a foreign country e.g. Heads of States or of Governments, Senior politicians, Govt./ Judicial/ Military officers, senior executives of State owned corporations, important political party officials etc.
10 (v) In the case of non-face-to-face customers, apart from applying the usual customer identification procedures, adequate care must be taken to mitigate the higher risk involved. Certification of all the documents presented must be insisted upon and, if necessary, additional documents may be called for.
10(vi) For various types of non individual the documents stated against their names in Annexure and any other documents/ introduction that the Company feels necessary to comply with KYC guidelines will be obtained for identification.
MONITORING OF TRANSACTIONS
11.The Company must pay special attention to all complex, unusually large transactions and all unusual patterns which have no apparent economic or visible lawful purpose. The Company must have understanding of the normal and reasonable activity of the customer so that they have the means of identifying transactions that fall outside the regular pattern of activity in order to effectively control and reduce the risk. Transactions that involve large amounts of cash inconsistent with the normal and expected activity of the customer should be noted and must be reported to the Corporate Office.
High-risk accounts have to must be subjected to intensify monitoring. The Company should put in place a system of periodical review of risk categorization of accounts and the need for applying enhanced due diligence measures. The Company should ensure that a record of transactions in the accounts is preserved and maintained as required in terms of section 12 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PML) Act, 2002. It may also be ensured that transactions of suspicious nature and/or any other type of transaction notified under section 12 of the PML Act, 2002, is reported to the appropriate law enforcement authority, within the stipulated time frame.
The Company must ensure proper records of all cash transactions of Rs. 10 lakhs and above. The branches must report such transactions and other transactions of suspicious nature to the Corporate Office of the Company on a fortnightly basis.
The cash transactions will be monitored in the following manner : The transactions involving cash withdrawals and/ or cash deposits for Rs.10 lacs and above or Rupee equivalent in Foreign Currency in deposit or loan accounts as well as all series of cash transactions integrally connected to each other which have been valued below rupees ten lakh or its equivalent in foreign currency where such series of transactions have taken place within a month and the aggregate value of such transactions exceeds rupees ten lakh; will be monitored closely by the branches and the record of details of such transactions shall be kept in separate register and must be reported to the Principal Officer.
Suspicious Transactions means a transaction whether or not made in cash which, to a person acting in good faith-
(a) gives rise to a reasonable ground of suspicion that it might involve the proceeds of crime/illegal activity; or
(b) appears to be made in circumstances of unusual or unjustified complexity; or
(c) appears to have no economic rationale or bonafide purpose.
All the transactions of suspicious nature, irrespective of any monetary ceiling (whether more than ten lakh or not), whether or not made in cash should be reported to the Principal Officer of the Company. The reporting formats of suspicious transactions are attached to the Circular No. NHB (ND)/DRS/ POL-No-14 /2006 dated July 25, 2006
12. The Company must ensure that adequate measures are taken to cover proper management oversight, systems and controls, segregation of duties, training and other related matters. Responsibility should be explicitly allocated within the Company for ensuring that the housing finance companies’ policies and procedures are implemented effectively. The Company must also devise procedures for creating Risk Profiles of their existing and new customers and apply various Anti Money Laundering measures keeping in view the risks involved in a transaction, account or business relationship.
The Company shall categorize the customers according to the risk perceived to facilitate undertaking due diligence for the purpose of risk categorization. The details have already been mentioned under section 5 above.
13. The Internal Auditors of the Company must be well versed with the KYC policies and must ensure adherence to the KYC procedures. The Internal Auditors should verify the application of the KYC procedures at all the branches and comment on the lapses observed in this regard. The compliance of the KYC guidelines and the specific cases of violation must be put before the Audit Committee of the Board at regular intervals.
14. The Company must envisage having an ongoing employee training programme so that the members of the staff are adequately trained in KYC procedures. Training requirements shall have different focuses for frontline staff, compliance staff, and staff dealing with new customers. It is crucial that all those concerned fully understand the rationale behind the KYC policies and implement them consistently and effectively.
15. The Company must take adequate measures to educate the customer on the objectives of the KYC programme, especially at the time of obtaining sensitive or personal information from the customers. Wherever the Company desires to collect any information about the customer for the purpose other than KYC requirement, it will not form part of the account opening form. Such information will be collected separately, purely on a voluntary basis in a form prescribed by the Company after explaining the objective to the customer and taking the customer’s express approval for the specific uses to which such information could be put. The front desk staff must be specially trained to handle such situations while dealing with customers. The Company shall also take care to see that implementation of the KYC guidelines in respect of customer acceptance, identification etc. do not result in denial of opening of new accounts and housing services to general public.
16. The Company must pay special attention to any threats that may arise from new or developing technologies in the implementation of the policy including on-line transactions that might favour anonymity, and take measures, if needed, to prevent their use in money laundering schemes.
17. The company shall ensure that the above guidelines shall also apply to the branches and majority-owned subsidiaries located abroad, especially, in countries which do not or insufficiently apply the FATF Recommendations, to the extent local laws permit. When applicable laws and regulations prohibit implementation of these guidelines, the same shall be brought to the notice of National Housing Bank and RBI.
18. The Company has appointed Mr. Ashutosh Atre, National Credit Manager as the ‘Principal Officer’ who shall be responsible for reporting all transactions and sharing of information. He shall be responsible to ensure that proper steps are taken to fix accountability for serious lapses and intentional contraventions of the KYC guidelines.
19. The Company shall continue the system of maintaining proper record of transactions as required u/s 12 of the PMLA read with Rule 3 of the PML Rules.
20. The Company shall continue to ensure that its branches maintain proper record of all cash transactions (deposits and withdrawals) of Rs.10 lakhs and above in the format prescribed by The National Housing Bank. The internal monitoring system should have an inbuilt procedure for reporting of such cash transactions and those of suspicious nature whether made in cash or otherwise, to the Principal Officer on fortnightly basis. However, there is no need to furnish NIL reports.
21. The Company shall ensure that the records referred in Rule 3 of the PML Rules contain the following information;
(a) The nature of the transactions,
(b) The amount of the transaction and the currency in which it was denominated,
(c) The date on which the transaction was conducted, and
(d) The parties to the transaction.
22. In accordance with Section 12 of PMLA, the Company shall take appropriate steps to evolve a system for proper maintenance and preservation of account information in a manner that allows data to be retrieved easily and quickly whenever required or when requested by the competent authorities. Further, the Company must also preserve and maintain all necessary records pertaining to the identification of the customer and his address (e.g. copies of documents like passports, identity cards, driving licenses, PAN, utility bills etc.) obtained while opening the account and during the course of business relationship for at least ten years from the date of cessation of transaction between the Company and the customer, so as to provide, if necessary, evidence for prosecution of persons involved in criminal activity.
23. The Company as per the proviso of Section 12 of PMLA wherever it notices a reason to believe that a single transaction or series of transactions are integrally connected to each other and have been valued below the prescribed value so as to defeat the provisions of this section, shall furnish to the Director, FIU such information/transaction after retaining a copy for records within the prescribed period at the following address:
FIU – IND
Financial Intelligence Unit – India,
6th floor, Hotel Samrat,
New Delhi – 110021
24. The Company assures to strictly comply with all formalities including timely submission of all applicable report and returns in the prescribed format with regards to cash & suspicious transaction qualifying under PML Rules directly to FIU-IND through the designated Principal Officer(s) of the company. However, as had been earlier advised, there is no need for submission of NIL report in respect to the above. Further, the Company and its employees shall maintain strict confidentiality of the fact of furnishing/reporting details of suspicious transactions.
25. The Company shall ensure that the provisions of PML Rules framed thereunder and the Foreign Contribution and Regulation Act, 1976 (wherever applicable) are strictly adhered.
26. In a situation where in the KYC measures cannot be applied satisfactorily due to non-furnishing of information and/or non-cooperation by the customer, the Company shall review and consult the status with its senior management including the Principal Officer(s) and may even consider closing of the account or termination of business relationship after issuing due notice to the customer explaining the reasons for the step.
27. The Company assures to comply comprehensively and fully comply with the Code in its letter and spirit.
CUSTOMER IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS INDICATIVE GUIDELINES
1. Trust/Nominee or Fiduciary Accounts – There exists the possibility that trust/nominee or fiduciary accounts can be used to circumvent the customer identification procedures. HFCs should determine whether the customer is acting on behalf of another person as trustee/nominee or any other intermediary. If so, HFCs may insist on receipt of satisfactory evidence of the identity of the intermediaries and of the persons on whose behalf they are acting, as also obtain details of the nature of the trust or other arrangements in place. While opening an account for a trust, HFCs should take reasonable precautions to verify the identity of the trustees and the settlors of trust (including any person settling assets into the trust), grantors, protectors, beneficiaries and signatories. Beneficiaries should be identified when they are defined. In the case of a ‘foundation’, steps should be taken to verify the founder managers/directors and the beneficiaries, if defined. If the HFC decides to accept such accounts in terms of the Customer Acceptance Policy, the HFC should take reasonable measures to identify the beneficial owner(s) and verify his/her/their identity in a manner so that it is satisfied that it knows who the beneficial owner(s) is/are.
2. Accounts of companies and firms – HFCs need to be vigilant against business entities being used by individuals as a ‘front’ for maintaining accounts with HFCs. HFC should verify the legal status of the legal person/ entity through proper and relevant documents. HFC should verify that any person purporting to act on behalf of the legal/ juridical person/entity is so authorized and identify and verify the identity of that person. HFCs should examine the control structure of the entity, determine the source of funds and identify the natural persons who have a controlling interest and who comprise the management. These requirements may be moderated according to the risk perception, e.g. in the case of a public company it will not be necessary to identify all the shareholders.
3. Client accounts opened by professional intermediaries – When the HFC has knowledge or reason to believe that the client account opened by a professional intermediary is on behalf of a single client, that client must be identified. HFCs may hold ‘pooled’ accounts managed by professional intermediaries on behalf of entities like mutual funds, pension funds, or other types of funds. Where the HFCs rely on the ‘customer due diligence’ (CDD) done by an intermediary, they should satisfy themselves that the intermediary is regulated and supervised and has adequate systems in place to comply with the KYC requirements. It should be understood that the ultimate responsibility for knowing the customer lies with the HFC.
4. Accounts of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) resident outside India – Politically exposed persons are individuals who are or have been entrusted with prominent public functions in a foreign country, e.g. Heads of States or of Governments, senior politicians, senior government/judicial/military officers, senior executives of state-owned corporations, important political party officials, etc. HFCs should gather sufficient information on any person/customer of this category intending to establish a relationship and check all the information available on the person in the public domain. HFCs should verify the identity of the person and seek information about the sources of funds before accepting the PEP as a customer. The decision to open an account for PEP should be taken at a senior level which should be clearly spelt out in Customer Acceptance Policy. HFCs should also subject such accounts to enhanced monitoring on an ongoing basis. The above norms may also be applied to the accounts of the family members or close relatives of PEPs.
5. Accounts of non-face-to-face customers – In the case of non-face-to-face customers, apart from applying the usual customer identification procedures, there must be specific and adequate procedures to mitigate the higher risk involved. Certification of all the documents presented may be insisted upon and, if necessary, additional documents may be called for. In the case of cross-border customers, there is the additional difficulty of matching the customer with the documentation and the HFC may have to rely on third party certification/introduction. In such cases, it must be ensured that the third party is a regulated and supervised entity and has adequate KYC systems in place.
Features to be verified and documents that may be obtained from customers
1. Accounts of individuals
(a) Legal name and any other name used
(b) Correct permanent address
(d) PAN/GIR number or Form 60 or 61 (wherever applicable)
(e) Aadhaar Card and letter issued by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) containing details of name, address and Aadhaar No.
(f) Voter’s Identity Card
(g) Driving License
(h) Identity card (subject to the company’s satisfaction)
(i) Letter from recognized public authority or public servant verifying the identity and residence of the customer to the satisfaction of Company.
(j) Latest Telephone bill
(k) Latest Bank account statement
(l) Letter from any recognized public authority
(m) Latest Electricity bill
(n) Ration Card
(o) Letter from employer (subject to satisfaction of the company) (any one document which provides customer information to the satisfaction of the Company)
2) Accounts of Partnership Firms –
(a) Legal name –
(b) Address –
(c) Names of all partners and their addresses –
(d) Telephone numbers of the firm and partners
(e) Registration certificate, if registered
(f) Certificate copy of Partnership Deed or Partnership Letter
(g) Power of Attorney granted to a partner or an employee of the firm to transact business on its behalf
(h) Any officially valid document identifying the partners and the persons holding the Power of Attorney and their addresses
(i) Telephone bill in the name of firm / partners.
3) Account of Limited Companies
(a) Name of the company
(b) Principal place of business
(c) Mailing address of the company
(d) Telephone/ FaxAX Number
(e) Certificate of incorporation
(f) Memorandum & Article of Association
(g) Certificate of commencement of business (in case of Public Limited Company)
(h) Resolution of the Board of Directors to open an account and identification of those who have authority to operate the account.
(i) List of Directors
(j) Power of Attorney granted to is managers, officers or employees to transact business on its behalf
(k) Copy of PAN allotment letter
(l) Copy of the telephone bill.
(m) Copy of Audited Accounts, if the Company is an existing company.
4) Accounts of Clubs, Associations, Societies etc.
(a) Name of the Club, Association, Society
(b) Mailing address
(c) Telephone/ FaxAX Number
(e) Certificate copy of constitution or Bye-laws of the Club/ Associations/ Society
(f) Registration certificate, if registered
(g) Resolution of Executive committee or Governing Body to open and operate the account
(h) List of members of Executive committee/ Governing Body
(i) Telephone Bill
(j) Electricity Bill
5) Accounts of Local Body
(a) Name of the Local Body
(b) Mailing address
(c) Telephone/ FaxAX Number
(d) Certified copy of resolution to open and operate Bank account and attested specimen Signature of persons authorized to operate the account.
(e) Telephone Bill
(f) Electricity Bill
6) Accounts of Government Department
(a) Name of the Department
(b) Mailing address
(c) Telephone/ FaxAX Number
(d) Certified copy of notification / order authorizing opening of account and attested Specimen signatures of persons authorized to operate the account
(e) Telephone bill
7) Accounts of Trusts & foundations
(a) Names of trustees, settlers, beneficiaries and signatories
(b) Names and addresses of the founder, the manager/ directors and the beneficiaries
(c) Telephone / fFax number
(d) Certificate of registration, if registered
(e) Certified copy of Trust Deed
(f) Power of Attorney granted to transact business on its behalf
(g) aAny officially valid document to identify the trustees, settlors, beneficiaries and those holding Power of Attorney, founders/ managers/directors and their addresses
(h) Resolution of the managing body of the foundation/association
(i) Telephone bill
8) Accounts of Liquidators/ Receivers/ Executors/ Administrators
(a) Names of Liquidators/ Receivers/ Executors/
(c) Mailing address
(d) Telephone / fFax number
(e) Certified copy of Resolution passed by the company/ order of the court for appointment of Liquidator/ Receiver/ Administrator or copy of the will appointing executor accompanies with a copy of Probate of will.
(f) Telephone bill
9) Accounts of Agents
(a) Names of agent
(b) Mailing Address
(c) Telephone / fFax number
(d) Power of Attorney by the principal in favour of the Agent on requisite stamp paper duly notarized and
(e) Specimen Signature of the agent duly attested by principal.
(f) Telephone bill
10) Unincorporated association or a body of individuals
(a) resolution of the managing body of such association or body of individuals
(b) power of attorney granted to him to transact on its behalf
(a) (c) an officially valid document in respect of the person holding an attorney to transact on its behalf (iv) and such other information as may be required by HFC to collectively establish the legal existence of such as association or body of individuals