Since 2007 compliance unit of Saman Bank in line with the requirements of the International and local regulators has begun to work. In 2015, radical measures in order to organize the operations considering to compliance risk of business of the bank was adopted and changes in some procedures were announced and launched. These measures in the early stages due to the risk of banking services and products, and risk of integrity and reputation of Saman Bank in the field of international were established and institutionalized.
Objectives and Responsibilities
The goal of Compliance unit is to assist the Bank in compliance risk management, a risk that can be in the concept of risk of legal or regulatory sanctions, financial losses or damages incurred a bank credit resulting from its failure in compliance with laws, regulations, rules and standards issued by the regulatory units. Compliance unit tasks are raised in relation to preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, the rules of trade and business conducts (including cases like prevent or reduce conflicts of interest), the law on combating bribery and corruption, fight against corruption, principles of data protection and privacy issues. The unit can also assist the Board of Directors and senior management in their responsibilities of understanding and effective management of compliance risk. Therefore, in order to implement the policies more accurate, whole body of organization is required to cooperate and participate.
The role of compliance unit is to enforce preventive measure in the following cases:
With emphasis on performing these procedures, compliance unit will help in conducting organization's business successfully and in accordance with local and international standards.
Banking activities includes financial services at the international level as well. Compliance standards included the requirements of international law and different regulators depending on the geographic area of the business targets. Nowadays by delegation of 26 compliance officers and MLROs in our 6 main branches and other provincial representatives we ensure executing, reviewing and developing assigned procedures. Compliance officers delegated for implementing and monitoring the proper of banking operations, with regard to cooperating in compliance risk controls.
In order to prevent conflicts of interest, compliance officers work independently from banking business lines to be able to use their authorities and commitments. Meanwhile, direct reporting of significant cases to the chief compliance officer and if required escalating to the superior managers is also defined and implemented in this regard.
Whenever sensitive cases arise and needs the compliance officer to involve, designed tasks in this position is not only beyond the analysis of the situation, reviewing solution and advising management, but also the compliance officers should follow the subject comprehensively to ensure the proper implementation of the solution in comply with the regulations, even if necessary, the measures implemented in this regard should be notified to high level superiors or CEO of the organization.
Our deep understanding of the harmful effects of money laundering on the economy, and our strong adherence to Islamic teachings, which forbid any money laundering and terrorism financing-related activity, (as well as having an awareness of international sensitivity towards the issue), means that we are fully aware of the need for all bank employees to acquire a good knowledge of money laundering activities and the techniques that criminals use. While fully adhering to confidentiality and privacy regulations, the Bank seeks to prohibit money launderers from using Saman for financial transfers. Saman makes it a priority to collect, record and analyze information on the purpose of customer due diligence and reasons for opening an account, anticipating account activities, identifying source of wealth, estimating net worth, identifying source of transactions, client’s business and structure, and any information regarding the use of bank facilities.
In order to implement anti-money laundering rules and regulations, Saman Bank has established the anti-money laundering department to apply and enforce the AML instructions over services and products, as well as cooperating and communicating with competent authorities.
This department also ensures that KYC guidelines are properly followed at all levels within the Bank, continuously monitoring branch operations and identifying gaps in regulatory controls. To this end, it works in close cooperation with supervisory and regulatory bodies.
Client Acceptance procedures are at the core of Saman Bank’s effective anti-money laundering risk management. Account opening includes the verification of identity and due diligence on account holders and underlying beneficial owners, as well as establishing the origin of wealth and source of deposited funds.
An account must include the real name of the account holder in compliance with the presented identification documents. Furthermore, no numbered, coded or anonymous accounts are permitted. Black list and watch list controls are also conducted for applicants.
Records, evidence of identification and all account activities are retained for at least 10 years.
Suspicious Activity Reporting
In view of the potential risk associated with banking activities, suspicious activity reporting (SAR) is instrumental in combating suspicious financial activity. Saman Bank conducts ongoing suspicious activity monitoring and all such transactions and activities are reported to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s National Financial Intelligence Unit (IRIFIU).
Politically exposed Persons (PEPs)
To comply with 6th Article of FATF recommendation and in accordance with Article 9, the executive direction of anti-money laundering law approved by the ministers member of the work group no.181434/T43182K dated December 5th, 2009, the bank is obliged to gather sufficient information to determine an individual is a politically exposed person (PEP) and report to national Financial intelligence Unit (F.I.U). Thus, Saman Bank has implemented the PEJVAK system to verify its customers identify. Furthermore, foreign customers of the bank are required to fulfill Politically Exposed Persons Identification form.
Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorist Financing (CTF)
Saman is well aware that even unintentional involvement in any criminal activity may jeopardize the institution’s public reputation. To guarantee full compliance with applicable laws and regulations and to cooperate with law enforcement and regulatory bodies, Saman has an Anti-Money Laundering Unit to minimize the risk of money laundering and terrorism financing.
Saman’s AML Unit operates in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Central Bank of Iran. The department is ultimately responsible for monitoring activities throughout the branch network and investigating suspicious cases, under the supervision of the CEO. Regularly, the department issues internal advice and guidance on a range of subjects, including how to prevent money laundering within the branch network by applying KYC/CTF principles, reporting suspicious activities, and investigating the origin of ambiguous funds.
We recently took some new initiatives to enhance our success rates in preventing and detecting any proof of money laundering and terrorism financing operations. These include:
Saman Bank is supervised by the Central Bank of Iran and High Council on Anti-Money Laundering. The financial intelligence unit of the Islamic Republic of Iran is the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (www.iranaml.com).
To comply with anti-money laundering regulations, we have approved, developed and implemented a written program designed to detect and report suspicious transactions, and have established and implemented policies and controls designed to achieve compliance with the AML Act dated 06 February 2008. Where applicable, cooperation with law enforcement and regulatory authorities is essential. This may include compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements, the freezing of accounts, provision of information, etc.
Regarding the importance of AML/CTF in international financial arena and achieving transparent banking principles, Saman bank implemented a robust due diligence on customer profiles and enhanced ongoing monitoring on those who receive basic services and detection of suspicious activities which has made us one of the most transparent banking service provider in the region.
Under our AML/CTF compliance program, The KYC policy refers to controls which set out to ensure that we can effectively identify, verify and monitor customers and their financial activities in which they engage, relative to the risks of money laundering and terrorism financing.
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a legislation of the United States of America enacted on March 18th, 2010 By United state Department of Treasury and International Revenue Services, Internal Revenue Service (the U.S.A. IRS) regarding their customer s who are U.S citizens and who hold accounts with the financial institutions obliges Foreign Financial Institution to declare the assets of their clients who are US taxpayers.
Persons Involved in FATCA
For reporting, the seven indicia of U.S.A. Status for the purposes of FATCA are as follows:
Or directions regularly received from a U.S.A. address
Legal entities that are associated with the US (those that have a US address, those established or headquartered in the US, for passive entities, those for which at least one of the controlling persons is a US citizen or resident)
According to proposal our customers known as taxpayers in the US (US citizens, US residents, green card holders etc. as specified above) must declare and describe their status to Saman and required to provide relevant documents along with the form they will sign to support their declaration.
Unauthorized US persons who are involved in any business activities or hold undeclared Iranian financial accounts may face possible civil and / or criminal penalties under both OFAC’s regulations and the US tax laws. While certain types of activities are permitted, most business by US persons with Iran is strictly prohibited under the Sanctions and their activities require obtaining an OFAC license beforehand. Nowadays According to restrictions designated to mutual Business relationship and Iran Talks with E3/EU+3 that lead to joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Vienna, 14 July 2015, it is safe to say Iranian financial institutions will sign FATCA compliants law and obviously Saman bank as the pioneer of complaints, would like to sign and get its own GIIN code by joining to FATCA FFIs and Implement IRS.
FATCA Responsible Officer
Please Contact with Mr.S.Shahbazzade, Responsible for AML Compliance Department;
Email:S_Shahbazzade [at] sb24 [dot] com