Every day, hundreds of thousands of new companies are registered across the world.
Legal representatives file information about directors and shareholders with the local registry, effectively shaping the corporate structure of these new organisations.
The below infographic provides an overview of the number of companies incorporated per year across selected jurisdictions.
The role of primary source data in KYB and AML compliance
As financial institutions are increasingly required by regulators to investigate the corporate structures of their prospective customers, primary source data has become central to any effective AML and KYB strategy.
In this new context, gaining direct access to official company data and documentation gives compliance teams peace of mind that they are basing their AML and KYB reviews on the most reliable, accurate and complete beneficial ownership information.
But leveraging direct connections to company registries is not just a matter of compliance. As a strategy, it helps both Fintechs and traditional FIs gain a competitive advantage in today’s highly digitised financial services landscape, in particular when targeting recently incorporated organisations.
The unique challenges of onboarding newly registered companies
Newly born companies are often in urgent need of financial services such as a business bank account, loans, insurance coverage or other types of financing. But a search on this type of companies in a traditional database alone would not satisfy standard compliance requirements, as no relevant results would be returned.
To comply with AML requirements in these cases (e.g. AMLD5 in Europe), financial institutions have traditionally requested certified copies of the necessary documents directly from the prospective customer. However, this approach generates a dual risk:
- It causes customer drop-offs as the applicant might not have access to the required documentation there and then.
- It increases the risk of fraud by sourcing documents from a non-verified source (i.e. the customer).
Live registry connections, on the other hand, are especially beneficial in these instances as they are able to streamline the onboarding and KYB process for new companies not yet present in traditional databases.
This approach also represents a business opportunity larger than expected. In fact, our research revealed that an average 9% of all companies present in the registries were incorporated in the course of the last year for which data was available (2020 or 2021).
How Know Your Customer can help
By sourcing incorporation documents and shareholder information directly from their official source, financial institutions can drastically reduce the request for certified copies to their customers, strengthening their compliance controls while accelerating onboarding times and reducing drop-offs to a minimum.
At Know Your Customer, we empower financial institutions to leverage real-time connections to company registries and large-scale automation to bring their KYB and corporate onboarding strategy to the next level.
Our solution reduces the endless back-and-forth with customers to obtain certified copies of required documents by sourcing those documents from their official source, reading them through Optical Character Recognition and Artificial Intelligence, and presenting verified company information in highly intuitive UBO structures for compliance teams to review.
It doesn’t matter if the company was incorporated yesterday or ten years ago: the information presented to compliance teams by our solution will always be the most up-to-date, sourced directly from the relevant company registry.