Financial Crime Policy

INTRODUCTION

Hamilton Wood & Company is committed to the highest standards of compliance with financial crime legislation and seeks to follow best practice where it is able.

This Financial Crime Compliance Manual reflects our commitment to compliance. This commitment is in relation to our own legal and regulatory obligations. We also seek to maintain standards of Financial Crime compliance that are consistent with the standards expected for all all companies governed by applicable UK law.

PURPOSE

The purpose of the Manual is to inform all our staff of the required approach to ensure Financial Crime compliance and to advise our staff of the relevant policies and procedures with which they are expected to comply.

Money laundering, international sanctions and bribery are the main subjects of Financial Crime legislation that can impact upon the finance and tax industry. This Manual is intended to assist in ensuring that we:

(1) meet our own obligations; and

(2) support Financial Crime compliance

DESIGNATED FINANCIAL CRIME COMPLIANCE OFFICER

The Financial Crime Compliance Officer is Simon Dodd.

The Financial Crime Compliance Officer is responsible for implementing effective Financial Crime procedures, monitoring compliance with those procedures. At any such time as a matter of material concern arises (including in respect of any material breach of this Manual).

The Financial Crime Compliance Officer has appropriate level of seniority within the firm, understands the relevant Financial Crime legislation and regulations and has the full support of the Board and senior management in carrying out his responsibilities.

The Financial Crime Compliance Officer’s role is to act as the main point of contact within the firm with day to day responsibility for all activity relating to Financial Crime. The Financial Crime Compliance Officer’s specific responsibilities include:

  • Establishing, maintaining and monitoring our firm’s Financial Crime procedures.
  • Receiving reports of any suspicious activity from within our firm.
  • Establishing and maintaining training for our staff
  • Working with Partner Agents to monitor developments in Financial Crime legislation, regulations and practice
  • Referring to Hamilton Wood & Company’s Partner Agents Financial Crime incidents relevant to their business and liaising with regulatory and law enforcement bodies where it is appropriate to do so. (Note: there may be times where notifying third parties, including Partner Agents may not be allowed under applicable legislation)
  • Conducting periodic reviews of the Partner Agents compliance with Financial Crime legislation and provisions

If you have any queries or concerns regarding any financial crime issue you should contact the Financial Crime Compliance Officer immediately.

TRAINING

We believe that it is of critical importance that all our relevant members of staff receive an appropriate level of Financial Crime compliance training. We will therefore ensure we provide suitable training.

Hamilton Wood & Company provides staff training courses that deal with UK Anti-Money Laundering legislation, International Sanctions and Bribery. As Hamilton Wood & Company’s staff are subject to UK Financial Crime law in respect of all financial business services we need to be able to support compliance with the applicable UK legislation.

All staff are required to complete Hamilton Wood & Company’s Financial Crime training course.

If you would like to discuss any further training requirements please contact Simon Dodd.

ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING

Money laundering is a term used to describe the techniques, procedures or processes used to convert illegal funds obtained from criminal activities into other assets in such a way as to conceal their true origin so that it appears the money has come from a legitimate or lawful source.

Where our firm acts on behalf of our Partner Agents, those Partner Agents are required to comply with a number of UK statutes which cover most financial sectors. This includes the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (PoCA) and the Terrorism Act 2000 (TACT).

Offences under this legislation can attract severe penalties including prison sentences of up to 14 years in the case of offences under PoCA and there are also obligations to report cases of money laundering. It is important that staff are aware of their obligation to report any knowledge or suspicion of money laundering.

Anti-Money Laundering policy

All our employees need to be aware of what they need to do to comply with applicable Anti-Money Laundering legislation and to support compliance by Partner Agents.

You must therefore comply with the following requirements –

  • If you know or suspect that property constitutes someone’s benefit from criminal conduct, you must report this suspicion immediately to the Financial Crime Compliance Officer.
  • You must not enter into or become concerned in an arrangement which you know or suspect will facilitate the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property by or on behalf of another person.
  • You must not allow for the acquisition, use or possession of property if you know or suspect that the property constitutes a person’s benefit from criminal conduct.
  • If you have reasonable grounds for suspecting that another person is engaged in money laundering, you must make the required disclosure as soon as practicable to the Financial Crime Compliance Officer .
  • You must not inform anyone that a suspicious transaction has been reported or if there is a law enforcement investigation intended or underway, as to do so would be likely to prejudice any investigation that may be conducted following the disclosure having been made.

If you have any doubts over appropriate action or other queries please contact the Financial Crime Compliance Officer in the first instance.

INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS COMPLIANCE

Over the past several years, the scope of international sanctions has widened and it is now an issue that all businesses, including those in the financial services industry need to be aware of. Sanctions are used to bring about a change in another country’s or individual’s activities or policies particularly if breaches of international law or human rights have occurred, or democracy is under threat. In the UK responsibility for the administration of sanctions falls to HM Treasury (“HMT”) whilst other countries have similar arrangements such as The Office of Foreign Assets Control (''OFAC'') in the US.

We are required to recognise sanctions legislation implemented into UK law which can derive from UK, EU and UN legislation. Certain regimes such as those imposed by US Treasury’s OFAC can also have extra-territorial impact on persons outside of the US or the actions of non-US persons can put their US parent companies in jeopardy of sanctions breaches.

There are different types of sanctions, which can be country specific and may include bans on financial transactions and trade or they can be targeted at specific entities and or individuals, otherwise known as SMART sanctions.

All financial sanctions regimes regardless of jurisdiction invariably make it a criminal offence to make funds/financial services available to sanctions targets. Penalties for breaching sanctions generally involve a fine or, in the most serious cases, imprisonment.

International Sanctions Policy

We have agreed with our lawyers that the sanctions policy adopted in the Manual is proportionate and appropriate for the purposes of our business activities in the UK.

Employees must:

  • disclose any knowledge or suspicion of a sanctioned activity involving client, potential client, employee or other third-party to the Financial Crime Compliance Officer who will be responsible for referring the matter to the appropriate authorities;
  • ensure that funds, economic resources and financial services are not made available to a person or entity, directly or indirectly that is the target of international sanctions.

On occasion, it may be difficult to determine if a transaction falls within a prohibited activity under a certain sanctions regime. If you have any doubts over the appropriate action the matter should be referred to the Financial Crime Compliance Officer in the first instance and then, if necessary, legal advice should be sought.

ANTI-BRIBERY COMPLIANCE

The Bribery Act 2010 is the UK’s comprehensive anti-bribery legislation. The Bribery Act contains four main offences:

Bribing another person;

  • Being bribed;
  • Bribing a foreign public official; and
  • Failure of a commercial organisation to prevent bribery.

Hamilton Wood & Company will not tolerate any activities by our firm or by our employees that may represent a breach of the Bribery Act or other anti-corruption legislation.

If you have any doubts over appropriate action or other queries please contact the Financial Crime Compliance Officer in the first instance.

Anti- Bribery Policy and Gifts and Entertainment policy

Under UK law a bribe is a financial or other advantage such as a commercial, contractual, or regulatory advantage in connection with a person performing a function improperly (in breach of an expectation that the function will be performed in good faith, impartially or as a result of a position of trust).

Employees should comply with the following policy:

No bribes should be offered, promised or given to another person.

  • No bribes must be requested, agreed to receive or accepted from another person.
  • No transfer of anything of value should be given to any public official without prior approval from the Financial Crime compliance officer.
  • No facilitation payments should be made. (A facilitation payment is the payment of any money/fee to fast track an administrative process or the offer of resource to assist a person/body to make a decision more efficiently. If any staff member is asked to pay a facilitation payment, they should refuse and ensure that the matter is reported to the Financial Crime Compliance Officer.)
  • Any suspicious activity by staff or third parties must be reported to the Financial Crime Compliance Officer.

This policy does not prohibit normal and appropriate hospitality, payment of partner fees nor the giving of ceremonial gifts/occasional gifts, providing they are customary, proportionate and in compliance with the coverholder’s policy in relation to gifts and entertainment.