Money Laundering

What are Anti-Money Laundering Checks?

Anti-money laundering checks are required by law for all banks before they are allowed to handle money from you. The checks are made to make sure you are genuinely who you say you are and that the money has not been acquired illegally, or that the bank itself is not being used as part of criminal activity, most commonly misuse of facility.

While these checks can in theory be carried out at any time, they are usually only performed when dealing with transfers for a large amount, such as paying a deposit for a house or buying a car. They may also be carried out when you open an account.

Money laundering checks may require you to produce your passport, driving licence and recent bank statements along with any enquiries made of the Credit Reference Agencies.

These checks are undertaken on absolutely everyone. A money laundering check does not mean you are suspected of anything illegal, and if you've got nothing to hide, there's nothing to worry about. The checks made at credit reference agencies leave an ‘enquiry footprint’ – an indelible record so that you can see who has checked you out. The enquiry footprint does not have any impact on your credit score or on your ability to get credit.


Q: Who performs these checks?

A: In addition to the banks, anyone who regularly deals in transactions involving large amounts of money will carry out these checks including jewellers, car dealerships, casinos, accountants and estate agents. By carrying out these checks they are ensuring they are not left out of pocket if a potential customer attempts to use their business to exchange illegally obtained money for something more difficult to trace.

Q: How will it appear on my credit report?

A: Anti Money Laundering Checks appear as an enquiry/ soft search on your credit report. When you check your report it may have a note saying “Identity Check to comply with Anti Money Laundering Regulations”.

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