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'Know Your Customer' (KYC) Guidelines – Anti Money Laundering Standards (AML) -'Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 - Obligations of NBFCs in terms of Rules notified thereunder’ . Part:- 1


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RBI/2013-14/41
DNBS (PD) CC No.339 /03.10.42/ 2013-14
July 1, 2013
To
All Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs),
Miscellaneous Non-Banking Companies (MNBCs),
and Residuary Non-Banking Companies (RNBCs)
Dear Sirs,
Master Circular – 'Know Your Customer' (KYC) Guidelines – Anti Money Laundering Standards (AML) -'Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 - Obligations of NBFCs in terms of Rules notified thereunder’
As you are aware, in order to have all current instructions on the subject at one place, the Reserve Bank of India issues Master Circulars on various topics. In accordance with the approach, a master circular on the captioned subject, updated up to 30th June 2013 is being issued. It may be noted that the Master Circular consolidates and updates all the instructions contained in the notifications listed in the Appendix, in so far they relate to the subject. The Master Circular has also been placed on the RBI web-site (http://www.rbi.org.in). A copy of the Master Circular is enclosed.
Yours faithfully,
(N. S. Vishwanathan)
Principal Chief General Manager

I. Introduction
Purpose
NBFCs were advised to follow certain customer identification procedure for opening of accounts and monitoring transactions of a suspicious nature for the purpose of reporting it to appropriate authority. These ‘Know Your Customer’ guidelines have been revisited in the context of the Recommendations made by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Anti Money Laundering (AML) standards and on Combating Financing of Terrorism (CFT). Detailed guidelines based on the Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force and the paper issued on Customer Due Diligence (CDD) for NBFCs by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, with indicative suggestions wherever considered necessary, have been issued. NBFCs have been advised to ensure that a proper policy framework on ‘Know Your Customer’ and Anti-Money Laundering measures with the approval of the Board is formulated and put in place.
2. This Master Circular aims at consolidating all the instructions/guidelines issued by RBI on Know Your Customer (KYC) norms/Anti-Money Laundering (AML) standards/Combating Financing of Terrorism (CFT)/Obligations of NBFCs under PMLA, 2002. The Master Circular has been placed on the RBI website (http://www.rbi.org.in).
Previous instructions
A list of circulars issued in this regard is given in Appendix.
Application
i) The instructions, contained in the master circular, are applicable to all NBFCs.
ii) These guidelines are issued under Sections 45K and 45L of the RBI Act, 1934 and any contravention of the same or non-compliance will attract penalties under the relevant provisions of the Act. and Rule 7 of 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.
iii) This Master Circular consolidates all the circulars issued on the subject up to June 30, 2012.
II. 'Know Your Customer' (KYC) Guidelines – Anti Money Laundering Standards
The ‘Know Your Customer’ guidelines were issued in February 2005 revisiting the earlier guidelines issued in January 2004 in the context of the Recommendations made by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Anti Money Laundering (AML) standards and on Combating Financing of Terrorism (CFT). These standards have become the international benchmark for framing Anti Money Laundering and combating financing of terrorism policies by the regulatory authorities. Compliance with these standards by the banks/financial institutions/NBFCs in the country have become necessary for international financial relationships. The Department of Banking Operations and Development of Reserve Bank has issued detailed guidelines to the banks based on the Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force and the paper issued on Customer Due Diligence (CDD) for banks by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, with indicative suggestions wherever considered necessary, a copy of same is enclosed as per Annex-VI. These guidelines are equally applicable to NBFCs. All NBFCs are, therefore, advised to adopt the same with suitable modifications depending on the activity undertaken by them and ensure that a proper policy framework on ‘Know Your Customer’ and Anti-Money Laundering measures is formulated and put in place with the approval of the Board within three months of the date of this circular. NBFCs were advised to ensure that they are fully compliant with the instructions before December 31, 2005.
2. While preparing operational guidelines NBFCs may bear in mind that the information collected from the customer for the purpose of opening of account should be kept as confidential and not divulge any details thereof for cross selling or any other purposes. NBFCs may, therefore, ensure that information sought from the customer is relevant to the perceived risk, is not intrusive, and is in conformity with the guidelines issued in this regard. Any other information from the customer should be sought separately with his /her consent and after opening the account.
3. As it is necessary that the guidelines should be equally applicable to the persons authorised by NBFCs including brokers/agents etc. collecting public deposits on behalf of NBFCs, it was advised on October 11, 2005 that:
i. Adherence to Know Your Customer (KYC) guidelines by NBFC and persons authorised by NBFCs including brokers/agents etc.
An obligation has been cast on the banking companies, financial institutions and intermediaries, by the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (Chapter IV), to comply with certain requirements in regard to maintenance of record of the transactions of prescribed nature and value, furnishing of information relating to those transactions and verification and maintenance of the records of identity of all its clients in prescribed manner. Accordingly, instructions were issued to NBFCs vide our circular DNBS (PD) CC No. 48 /10.42/ 2004-05 dated February 21, 2005.
As regards deposits collected by persons authorised by NBFCs including brokers/agents etc. inasmuch as such persons are collecting the deposits on behalf of the NBFC, it shall be the sole responsibility of the NBFC to ensure full compliance with the KYC guidelines by such persons. The NBFC should make available all information to the Bank to verify the compliance with the KYC guidelines and accept full consequences of any violation by the persons authorised by NBFCs including brokers/agents etc. who are operating on its behalf.
With regard to RNBCs a separate CC No.46 dated December 30, 2004 was issued delineating a road map for them wherein the guidelines were issued as under:
In respect of new customers acquired after April 1, 2004, KYC guidelines as stated in the circular CC No.48 should be complied with in all cases. However, for the existing customers, initially, KYC guidelines should be complied in respect of large customers whose aggregate deposit exceeds Rs.1 lakh. For the remaining existing accounts, the companies should ensure that the details of the customers are updated at the time of renewal of the deposit. This should, however, not result in unnecessary harassment of customers.
As regards deposits collected by agents / sub-agents in as much as the agent / sub-agent is collecting the deposits on behalf of the RNBC, it shall be the sole responsibility of the RNBC to ensure full compliance with the KYC guidelines by its agents and sub-agents. The RNBC should make available all information to the regulator or his nominee to verify the compliance with the KYC guidelines and accept full consequences of any violation by the agent / sub-agent who is operating on its behalf.
ii. Due diligence of persons authorised by NBFCs including brokers/agents etc.
As an extension of the KYC Guidelines, NBFCs should put in place a process of due diligence in respect of persons authorised by NBFCs including brokers/agents etc. collecting deposits on behalf of the company through a uniform policy for appointment and detailed verification. Details of due diligence conducted may be kept on record with the company for verification. Compliance in this regard were to be reported to RBI by December 31, 2005.
In the depositors’ interests and for enhancing transparency of operations, the companies should have systems in place to ensure that the books of accounts of persons authorised by NBFCs including brokers/agents etc, so far as they relate to brokerage functions of the company, are available for audit and inspection whenever required.
RNBCs were also advised on the same lines vide CC No 46 dated December 30, 2004 mentioned above and were advised to report compliance to RBI by January 31, 2005.
iii. Customer service in terms of identifiable contact with persons authorised by NBFCs including brokers/agents etc.
All deposit receipts should bear the name and Registered Office address of the NBFC and must invariably indicate the name of the persons authorised by NBFCs including brokers/agents etc. and their addresses who mobilised the deposit and the link office with the telephone number of such officer and/or persons authorised by NBFCs including brokers/agents etc in order that there is a clear indication of the identifiable contact with the field persons and matters such as unclaimed / lapsed deposits, discontinued deposits, interest payments and other customer grievances are appropriately addressed. The companies may also evolve suitable review procedures to identify persons authorised by NBFCs including brokers/agents etc. in whose cases the incidence of discontinued deposits is high for taking suitable action.
RNBCs were also advised on the same lines vide CC No 46/ 02.02 (RNBC)/ 2004-05 dated December 30, 2004 as mentioned above.
4. It was clarified in March 2006 that although flexibility in the requirement of documents of identity and proof of address has been provided in the circular mentioned above yet there may be instances where certain persons, especially, those belonging to low income group both in urban and rural areas may not be able to produce such documents to satisfy the NBFC about their identity and address. Hence, it has been decided to further simplify the KYC procedure for opening accounts by NBFCs for those persons who intend to keep balances not exceeding rupees fifty thousand (Rs. 50,000/-) in all their accounts taken together and the total credit in all the accounts taken together is not expected to exceed rupees one lakh (Rs. 1,00,000/-) in a year.
5. Accordingly, in case a person who wants to open an account is not able to produce documents mentioned in Annexure II of DBOD circular enclosed with our circular dated February 21, 2005, NBFCs may open accounts as described in paragraph 2 above, subject to
a) introduction from another account holder who has been subjected to full KYC procedure. The introducer’s account with the NBFC should be at least six month old and should show satisfactory transactions. Photograph of the customer who proposes to open the account and also his address needs to be certified by the introducer.
or
b) any other evidence as to the identity and address of the customer to the satisfaction of the NBFC.
6. While opening accounts as described above, the customer should be made aware that if at any point of time, the balances in all his/her accounts with the NBFC (taken together) exceeds rupees fifty thousand (Rs. 50,000/-) or total credit in the account exceeds rupees one lakh (Rs. 1,00,000/-), no further transactions will be permitted until the full KYC procedure is completed. In order not to inconvenience the customer, the NBFC must notify the customer when the balance reaches rupees forty thousand (Rs. 40,000/-) or the total credit in a year reaches rupees eighty thousand (Rs. 80,000/-) that appropriate documents for conducting the KYC must be submitted otherwise the operations in the account will be stopped when the total balance in all the accounts taken together exceeds rupees fifty thousand (Rs. 50,000/-) or the total credit in the accounts exceeds rupees one lakh (Rs. 1,00,000/-) in a year. NBFCs were advised to issue suitable instructions to their branches for implementation in this regard.
7. It was further clarified to NBFCs in April 2008 that for the purpose of Circular dated February 21, 2005 the term 'being satisfied' means that the NBFC must be able to satisfy the competent authorities that due diligence was observed based on the risk profile of the customer in compliance with the extant guidelines in place. An indicative list of the nature and type of documents/ information that may be relied upon for customer identification was also given in the Annex-VIII to this circular. It may happen that Annex-VIII, which was clearly termed as an indicative list, may be treated by some NBFCs as an exhaustive list as a result of which a section of public may be denied access to financial services. NBFCs are, therefore, advised to take a review of their extant internal instructions in this regard.
8. It is clarified that permanent correct address, as referred to in Annex-VIII of this circular, means the address at which a person usually resides and can be taken as the address as mentioned in a utility bill or any other document accepted by the NBFC for verification of the address of the customer. In case utility bill is not in the name of person depositing money but is close relative wife, son, daughter and parents etc. who live with their husband, father/mother and son, NBFCs can obtain an identity document and a utility bill of the relative with whom the prospective customer is living along with a declaration from the relative that the said person (prospective customer) wanting to open an account is a relative and is staying with him/her. NBFCs can use any supplementary evidence such as a letter received through post for further verification of the address. While issuing operational instructions to the branches on the subject, NBFCs should keep in mind the spirit of instructions issued by the Reserve Bank and avoid undue hardships to individuals who are, otherwise, classified as low risk customers.
9. In terms of extant instructions, NBFCs are required to put in place a system of periodical review of risk categorisation of accounts and the need for applying enhanced due diligence measures in case of higher risk perception on a customer. NBFCs are further advised that such review of risk categorisation of customers should be carried out at a periodicity of not less than once in six months. NBFCs also introduce a system of periodical updation of customer identification data (including photograph/s) after the account is opened. The periodicity of such updation should not be less than once in five years in case of low risk category customers and not less than once in two years in case of high and medium risk categories.
10. NBFCs have been further advised in terms of extant instructions that KYC/AML guidelines issued by Reserve Bank of India shall also apply to their branches and majority owned subsidiaries located outside India, especially, in countries which do not or insufficiently apply the FATF Recommendations, to the extent local laws permit. It is further clarified that in case there is a variance in KYC/AML standards prescribed by the Reserve Bank and the host country regulators, branches/overseas subsidiaries of NBFCs are required to adopt the more stringent regulation of the two.
11. Letter issued by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) containing details of name, address and Aadhaar number
The Government of India issued a Notification No. 14/2010/F.No. 6/2/2007-ES dated December 16, 2010 which recognises the letter issued by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) containing details of name, address and Aadhaar number, as an officially valid document as contained in Rule 2(1)(d) of the PML Rules, 2005.
It has been decided to accept the letter issued by the (UIDAI) as an officially valid document for opening of accounts. Attention was invited to Annex VI para 3 of Master Circular No 231 dated July 1, 2011 on KYC/AML/PMLA dealing with customer identification. All NBFCs were advised that, while opening accounts based on Aadhaar also, NBFCs must satisfy themselves about the current address of the customer by obtaining required proof of the same as per extant instructions.
Further all NBFCs were advised to confirm compliance to these instructions to Regional Offices of DNBS under whose jurisdiction they are registered.
11A 1Non-Deposit taking NBFCs with assets of Rs 25 cr and above and all Deposit taking NBFCs were advised that the Reserve Bank of India has been, from time to time, issuing guidelines on KYC/AML/CFT measures. The increasing complexity and volume of financial transactions necessitate that customers do not have multiple identities within a Financial Institution or across the financial system. This can be achieved by introducing a unique identification code for each customer. In this regard, a Working Group constituted by the Government of India has proposed the introduction of unique identifiers for customers across different Financial Institutions for setting up a centralized KYC Registry.
While setting up such a system for the entire financial system is likely to take time, NBFCs were advised to make an immediate beginning in this regard by putting in place such identification code for their own customers. The UCIC will help NBFCs to identify customers, track the facilities availed, monitor financial transactions in a holistic manner and enable NBFCs to have a better approach to risk profiling of customers. It would also smoothen NBFC’s operations for the customers.
Consequently, NBFCs were advised to initiate steps for allotting Unique Customer Identification Code (UCIC) to all their customers while entering into any new relationships. Similarly, existing individual customers may also be allotted UCIC by end-June 2013.
12. Accounts of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs)
1. Detailed guidelines on Customer Due Diligence (CDD) measures to be made applicable to Politically Exposed Person (PEP) and their family members or close relatives are contained in Annex VII to the Master Circular No.151/03.10.42/2009-10 dated July 1, 2009. It is further advised that in the event of an existing customer or the beneficial owner of an existing account, subsequently becoming a PEP, NBFCs (including RNBCs) should obtain senior management approval to continue the business relationship and subject the account to the CDD measures as applicable to the customers of PEP category including enhanced monitoring on an ongoing basis.
It was further clarified that the instructions are also applicable to accounts where PEP is the ultimate beneficial owner. Further, in regard to PEP accounts, it is reiterated that NBFCs should have appropriate ongoing risk management procedures for identifying and applying enhanced CDD to PEPs, customers who are close relatives of PEPs, and accounts of which PEP is the ultimate beneficial owner.
In terms of instructions contained in Para 15(1) of the Master Circular No 184 dated July 1, 2010 in the event of an existing customer or the beneficial owner of an existing account, subsequently becoming a PEP, NBFCs (including RNBCS) were advised to obtain senior management approval to continue the business relationship and subject the account to the CDD measures as applicable to the customers of PEP category including enhanced monitoring on an ongoing basis.
13. Client accounts opened by professional intermediaries
When the NBFC 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. NBFCs may hold 'pooled' accounts managed by professional intermediaries on behalf of entities like mutual funds, pension funds or other types of funds. NBFCs also maintain 'pooled' accounts managed by lawyers/chartered accountants or stockbrokers for funds held 'on deposit' or 'in escrow' for a range of clients. Where funds held by the intermediaries are not co-mingled at the NBFCs and there are 'sub-accounts', each of them attributable to a beneficial owner, all the beneficial owners must be identified. Where such funds are co-mingled at the NBFC, the NBFC should still look through to the beneficial owners. Further, in terms of paragraph 3 of Annex-VI of the above mentioned Master Circular, if a NBFC decides to accept an account in terms of the Customer Acceptance Policy, NBFC 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. Therefore, under the extant AML/CFT framework it is not possible for professional intermediaries like Lawyers and Chartered Accountants, etc. who are bound by any client confidentiality that prohibits disclosure of the client details, to hold an account on behalf of their clients.
It was therefore, reiterated that NBFCs should not allow opening and/or holding of an account on behalf of a client/s by professional intermediaries, like Lawyers and Chartered Accountants, etc., who are unable to disclose true identity of the owner of the account/funds due to any professional obligation of customer confidentiality. Further, any professional intermediary who is under any obligation that inhibits NBFCs ability to know and verify the true identity of the client on whose behalf the account is held or beneficial ownership of the account or understand true nature and purpose of transaction/s, should not be allowed to open an account on behalf of a client.
14. Accounts of proprietary concerns
NBFCs have been advised that internal guidelines for customer identification procedure of legal entities may be framed by them based on their experience of dealing with such entities, normal lenders prudence and the legal requirements as per established practices. If the NBFCs/RNBCs decide to accept such accounts in terms of the Customer Acceptance Policy, the NBFC 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.
Further they were advised that for sake of clarity, in case of accounts of proprietorship concerns, it has been decided to lay down criteria for the customer identification procedure for account opening by proprietary concerns. Accordingly, apart from following the extant guidelines on customer identification procedure as applicable to the proprietor, NBFCs/RNBCs should call for and verify the following documents before opening of accounts in the name of a proprietary  concern:
i) Proof of the name, address and activity of the concern, like registration certificate (in the case of a registered concern), certificate/licence issued by the Municipal authorities under Shop & Establishment Act, sales and income tax returns, CST / VAT certificate, certificate / registration document issued by Sales Tax / Service Tax / Professional Tax authorities, Licence issued by the Registering authority like Certificate of Practice issued by Institute of Chartered Accountants ofIndia, Institute of Cost Accountants of India, Institute of Company Secretaries of India, Indian Medical Council, Food and Drug Control Authorities, etc.
ii) Any registration / licensing document issued in the name of the proprietary concern by the Central Government or State Government Authority/ Department. NBFCs/RNBCs may also accept IEC (Importer Exporter Code) issued to the proprietary concern by the office of DGFT as an identity document for opening of account.
iii) The complete Income Tax return (not just the acknowledgement) in the name of the sole proprietor where the firm's income is reflected, duly authenticated/acknowledged by the Income Tax Authorities.
iv) Utility bills such as electricity, water, and landline telephone bills in the name of the proprietary concern.
v) Any two of the above documents would suffice. These documents should be in the name of the proprietary concern.
15. Principal Officer
NBFCs (including RNBCs) have been advised in Para 10 of Annex VI to the above said Master Circular dated July 1, 2009 that NBFCs (including RNBCs) should appoint a senior management officer to be designated as Principal Officer and the role and responsibilities of the Principal Officer have been detailed therein. With a view to enable the Principal Officer to discharge his responsibilities, it is advised that the Principal Officer and other appropriate staff should have timely access to customer identification data and other CDD information, transaction records and other relevant information. Further, NBFCs (including RNBCs) should ensure that the Principal Officer is able to act independently and report directly to the senior management or to the Board of Directors.It was clarified that the role and responsibilities of the Principal Officer should include overseeing and ensuring overall compliance with regulatory guidelines on KYC/AML/CFT issued from time to time and obligations under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, rules and regulations made thereunder, as amended form time to time.
16. Suspicion of money laundering/terrorist financing
With a view to preventing NBFCs from being used, intentionally or unintentionally, by criminal elements for money laundering or terrorist financing, it was clarified that whenever there is suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing or when other factors give rise to a belief that the customer does not, in fact, pose a low risk, NBFCs were advised to carry out full scale customer due diligence (CDD) before opening an account.
17. Filing of Suspicious Transaction Report (STR)
Attention was invited to the instructions contained in Para 2 (iv) Annex-VI of the Master Circular in terms of which a NBFC should not open an account (or should consider closing an existing account) when it is unable to apply appropriate CDD measures. It was clarified that in the circumstances when a NBFC believes that it would no longer be satisfied that it knows the true identity of the account holder, the Company should also file an STR with FIU-IND.
III. Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 - Obligations of NBFCs in terms of Rules notified thereunder’
1. NBFCs were advised to appoint a Principal Officer and put in place a system of internal reporting of suspicious transactions and cash transactions of Rs.10 lakh and above. In this connection, Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue, issued a notification dated July 1, 2005 in the Gazette of India, notifying the Rules under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. In terms of the Rules, the provisions of PMLA, 2002 have come into effect from July 1, 2005. Section 12 of the PMLA, 2002 casts certain obligations on the NBFCs in regard to preservation and reporting of customer account information. NBFCs are, therefore, advised to go through the provisions of PMLA, 2002 and the Rules notified there under and take all steps considered necessary to ensure compliance with the requirements of section 12 of the Act ibid.
2. Maintenance of records of transactions
NBFCs should introduce a system of maintaining proper record of transactions prescribed under Rule 3, as mentioned below:
(i) all cash transactions of the value of more than rupees ten lakh or its equivalent in foreign currency;
(ii) 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;
(iii) all cash transactions where forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes have been used as genuine and where any forgery of a valuable security has taken place;
(iv) all suspicious transactions whether or not made in cash and in manner as mentioned in the Rules framed by Government of India under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act , 2002.
3. Information to be preserved
NBFCs are required to maintain the following information in respect of transactions referred to in Rule 3:
i) the nature of the transactions;
ii) the amount of the transaction and the currency in which it was denominated;
iii) the date on which the transaction was conducted; and
iv) the parties to the transaction.
4. Maintenance and Preservation of records
NBFCs should 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, NBFCs should maintain for at least ten years from the date of cessation of transaction between the NBFCs and the client, all necessary records of transactions, both domestic or international, which will permit reconstruction of individual transactions (including the amounts and types of currency involved if any) so as to provide, if necessary, evidence for prosecution of persons involved in criminal activity.
NBFCs should ensure that 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, are properly preserved for at least ten years after the business relationship is ended. The identification records and transaction data should be made available to the competent authorities upon request.
(i) The Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Act, 2009 (No. 21 of 2009) has come into force with effect from June 01, 2009 as notified by the Government. In terms of Sub-Section 2(a) of Section 12 of The Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Act, 2009 (PMLA, 2009), the records referred to in clause (a) of Sub-Section (1) of Section 12 shall be maintained for a period of ten years from the date of transaction between the clients and the banking company and in terms of Sub-Section 2(b) of Section 12 of the Act ibid, the records referred to in clause (c) of Sub-Section (1) of Section 12 shall be maintained for a period of ten years from the date of cessation of transaction between the clients and the banking company.
(ii) NBFCs (including RNBCs) are advised to maintain for at least ten years from the date of transaction between the NBFC (including RNBC) and the client, all necessary records of transactions referred to at Rule 3 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 (PMLA Rules), both domestic or international, which will permit reconstruction of individual transactions (including the amounts and types of currency involved, if any) so as to provide, if necessary, evidence for prosecution of persons involved in criminal activity.
(iii) However, records pertaining to the identification of the customer and his address (e.g. copies of documents like passports, identity cards, driving licenses, PAN card, utility bills etc.) obtained while opening the account and during the course of business relationship, as indicated in paragraph 4 of the of the above said Master Circular dated July 1, 2009, would continue to be preserved for at least ten years after the business relationship is ended as required under Rule 10 of the Rules ibid.
5. Reporting to Financial Intelligence Unit-India
It is advised that in terms of the PMLA rules, NBFCs are required to report information relating to cash and suspicious transactions to the Director, Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND) at the following address:
Director, FIU-IND,
Financial Intelligence Unit-India,
6th Floor, Hotel Samrat,
Chanakyapuri,
New Delhi-110021
I) NBFCs should carefully go through all the reporting formats. There are altogether five reporting formats prescribed for a banking company viz. i) Manual reporting of cash transactions ii) Manual reporting of suspicious transactions iii) Consolidated reporting of cash transactions by Principal Officer of the bank iv) Electronic data structure for cash transaction reporting and v) Electronic data structure for suspicious transaction reporting which are enclosed to this circular. The reporting formats contain detailed guidelines on the compilation and manner/procedure of submission of the reports to FIU-IND. NBFCs are advised to adopt the format prescribed for banks with suitable modifications. It would be necessary for NBFCs to initiate urgent steps to ensure electronic filing of cash transaction report (CTR) as early as possible. The related hardware and technical requirement for preparing reports in an electronic format, the related data files and data structures thereof are furnished in the instructions part of the concerned formats. However, NBFCs which are not in a position to immediately file electronic reports may file manual reports to FIU-IND. While detailed instructions for filing all types of reports are given in the instructions part of the related formats, NBFCs should scrupulously adhere to the following:
(a) The cash transaction report (CTR) for each month should be submitted to FIU-IND by 15th of the succeeding month. While filing CTR, individual transactions below rupees fifty thousand may not be included;
(b) The Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) should be furnished within 7 days of arriving at a conclusion that any transaction, whether cash or non-cash, or a series of transactions integrally connected are of suspicious nature. The Principal Officer should record his reasons for treating any transaction or a series of transactions as suspicious. It should be ensured that there is no undue delay in arriving at such a conclusion once a suspicious transaction report is received from a branch or any other office. Such report should be made available to the competent authorities on request;
(c) The Principal Officer will be responsible for timely submission of CTR and STR to FIU-IND;
(d) Utmost confidentiality should be maintained in filing of CTR and STR with FIU-IND. The reports may be transmitted by speed/ registered post, fax, email at the notified address;
(e) It should be ensured that the reports for all the branches are filed in one mode i.e. electronic or manual;
(f) A summary of cash transaction report for the NBFC as a whole may be compiled by the Principal Officer of the NBFC in physical form as per the format specified. The summary should be signed by the Principal Officer and submitted both for manual and electronic reporting.
6. NBFCs may not put any restrictions on operations in the accounts where an STR has been made. However, it should be ensured that there is no tipping off to the customer at any level.
7. In terms of instructions contained in the guidelines on ‘Know Your Customer Norms’ and ‘Anti-Money Laundering Measures’ of our circular dated February 21, 2005, NBFCs are required to prepare a profile for each customer based on risk categorization. Further, vide paragraph 4 of our circular DNBS(PD). CC 68 /03.10.042/2005-06 dated April 5, 2006, the need for periodical review of risk categorization has been emphasized. It is, therefore, reiterated that NBFCs, as a part of transaction monitoring mechanism, are required to put in place an appropriate software application to throw alerts when the transactions are inconsistent with risk categorization and updated profile of customers. It is needless to add that a robust software throwing alerts is essential for effective identification and reporting of suspicious transactions.
8. In paragraph 7 of our circular dated April 5, 2006, referred to above, NBFCs were advised to initiate urgent steps to ensure electronic filing of cash transaction report (CTR) and Suspicious Transaction Reports (STR) to FIU-IND. It has been reported by FIU-IND that many NBFCs are yet to file electronic reports. It is, therefore, advised that in case of NBFCs, where all the branches are not yet fully computerized, the Principal Officer of the NBFC should cull out the transaction details from branches which are not computerized and suitably arrange to feed the data into an electronic file with the help of the editable electronic utilities of CTR/STR as have been made available by FIU-IND on their website http://fiuindia.gov.in.
9. In paragraph 7(I)(a) of our circular dated April 5, 2006, referred to above, NBFCs were advised to make Cash Transaction Reports (CTR) to FIU-India for every month latest by 15th of the succeeding month. It is further clarified that cash transaction reporting by branches/offices of NBFCs to their Principal Officer should invariably be submitted on monthly basis (not on fortnightly basis) and the Principal Officer, in turn, should ensure to submit CTR for every month to FIU-IND within the prescribed time schedule.
10. In regard to CTR, it is reiterated that the cut-off limit of Rupees ten lakh is applicable to integrally connected cash transactions also. Further, after consultation with FIU-IND, it is clarified that :
a) For determining integrally connected cash transactions, NBFCs should take into account all individual cash transactions in an account during a calendar month, where either debit or credit summation, computed separately, exceeds Rupees ten lakh during the month. However, while filing CTR, details of individual cash transactions below rupees fifty thousand may not be indicated. Illustration of integrally connected cash transactions is furnished in Annex-I;
b) CTR should contain only the transactions carried out by the NBFC on behalf of their clients/customers excluding transactions between the internal accounts of the NBFC;
c) All cash transactions, where forged or counterfeit Indian currency notes have been used as genuine should be reported by the Principal Officer to FIU-IND immediately in the format (Counterfeit Currency Report – CCR) as per Annex-II. Electronic data structure has been furnished in Annex-IV to enable NBFCs to generate electronic CCRs. These cash transactions should also include transactions where forgery of valuable security or documents has taken place and may be reported to FIU-IND in plain text form.
11. As stated in paragraph 4 of the Guidelines on KYC Norms/AML Measures annexed to our circular DNBS(PD). CC 48 /10.42/2004-05 dated February 21, 2005, NBFCs are required to pay special attention to all complex, unusual large transactions and all unusual patterns of transactions, which have no apparent economic or visible lawful purpose. It is further clarified that the background including all documents/office records/memorandums pertaining to such transactions and purpose thereof should, as far as possible, be examined and the findings at branch as well as Principal Officer level should be properly recorded. These records are required to be preserved for ten years as is required under PMLA, 2002. Such records and related documents should be made available to help auditors in their work relating to scrutiny of transactions and also to Reserve Bank/other relevant authorities.
12. In paragraph 7 of our April 5, 2006 circular, NBFCs have been advised that the customer should not be tipped off on the STRs made by them to FIU-IND. It is likely that in some cases transactions are abandoned/ aborted by customers on being asked to give some details or to provide documents. It is clarified that NBFCs should report all such attempted transactions in STRs, even if not completed by customers, irrespective of the amount of the transaction.
13. While making STRs, NBFCs should be guided by the definition of 'suspicious transaction' as contained in Rule 2(g) of Rules ibid. It is further clarified that NBFCs should make STRs if they have reasonable ground to believe that the transaction involve proceeds of crime generally irrespective of the amount of transaction and/or the threshold limit envisaged for predicate offences in part B of Schedule of PMLA, 2002.
14. In the context of creating KYC/AML awareness among the staff and for generating alerts for suspicious transactions, NBFCs may consider the indicative list of suspicious activities contained in Annex-V.
15. 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) Amendment Rules, 2009/10 - Obligation of banks/Financial institutions
Government of India vide its Notification No.13/2009/F.No.6/8/2009-ES dated November 12, 2009, subsequently vide Notification February 12, 2010 and June 16,2010 has amended 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. NBFCs and RNBCs were advised to study details of notification and the amendments clearly noted and spread across their organisation and to strictly follow the amended provisions of PMLA Rules and ensure meticulous compliance with these Rules.
16. Assessment and Monitoring of Risk
In terms of paragraph 2 of Annex vi of the Master Circular DNBC(PD)CC No 231/03.10.42 / 2011 -12 dated July 01, 2011 on Know Your Customer (KYC) norms /Anti-Money Laundering (AML) standards/Combating of Financing of Terrorism (CFT)/Obligation of banks under PMLA, 2002, NBFCs are required to prepare a risk profile of each customer and apply enhanced due diligence measures on higher risk customers. Some illustrative examples of customers requiring higher due diligence have also been provided in the paragraph under reference. Further, paragraph 5 of Annex vi of the Master Circular requires NBFCs to put in place policies, systems and procedures for risk management keeping in view the risks involved in a transaction, account or banking/business relationship.
The Government of India had constituted a National Money Laundering/Financing of Terror Risk Assessment Committee to assess money laundering and terror financing risks, a national AML/CFT strategy and institutional framework for AML/CFT in India. Assessment of risk of Money Laundering /Financing of Terrorism helps both the competent authorities and the regulated entities in taking necessary steps for combating ML/FT adopting a risk-based approach. This helps in judicious and efficient allocation of resources and makes the AML/CFT regime more robust. The Committee has made recommendations regarding adoption of a risk-based approach, assessment of risk and putting in place a system which would use that assessment to take steps to effectively counter ML/FT. The recommendations of the Committee have since been accepted by the Government of India and needs to be implemented.
Accordingly, NBFCs should take steps to identify and assess their ML/FT risk for customers, countries and geographical areas as also for products/ services/ transactions/delivery channels, in addition to what has been prescribed in our Master Circular dated July 1, 2011, referred to in paragraph 2 above. NBFCs should have policies, controls and procedures, duly approved by their boards, in place to effectively manage and mitigate their risk adopting a risk-based approach as discussed above. As a corollary, NBFCs would be required to adopt enhanced measures for products, services and customers with a medium or high risk rating.
In this regard, Indian Banks' Association (IBA) has taken initiative in assessment of ML/FT risk in the banking sector. This has circulated to its member banks on May 18, 2011 and a copy of their Report on Parameters for Risk Based Transaction Monitoring (RBTM) as a supplement to their guidance note on Know Your Customer (KYC) norms / Anti-Money Laundering (AML) standards issued in July 2009, is available on the IBA website. The IBA guidance also provides an indicative list of high risk customers, products, services and geographies. NBFCs may use the same as guidance in their own risk assessment.
2In order to have an effective implementation of KYC/AML/CFT measures, NBFCs were advised to put in place a system of periodic review of risk categorization of customers and updation of customer identification data in a time-bound manner, and in any case not later than end-March 2013.
17. Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 - Obligations of NBFCs in terms of Rules notified thereunder’ - Reporting Format under Project  FINnet
Reference was invited to Master Circular No 231 dated July 1, 2011 on 'Know Your Customer' (KYC) Guidelines- Anti Money Laundering (AML) Standards. In terms of the extant instructions, NBFCs were required to report information/data relating to Cash and Suspicious Transactions to the Director, Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND) in the prescribed format.
The present multiple data files reporting format mentioned in Annex-II and Annex-IV of para 28 c of the Master circular No 291 is being replaced by a new single XML file format as provided in the ‘Download’ section of the FIU-IND website (http://fiuindia.gov.in).
All NBFCs were requested to carefully go through the revised reporting format and initiate urgent steps to build capacity to generate reports, which are compliant with the new reporting XML format specifications. The exact date of transition from the old reporting format to the new format will to be communicated separately.
3FIU-IND had advised vide their letter F.No.9-29/2011-FIU-IND dated August 28, 2012, that all NBFCs should initiate submission of reports on the FINnet Gateway in ‘TEST MODE’ from August 31, 2012 to test their ability to upload the report electronically. Such submission in ‘Test Mode’ would continue till FIU-IND informs the NBFCs about ‘go-live’ of the project. NBFCs were also required to continue to submit the existing reports in CD as presently required till further notice.
IV. Combating financing of terrorism
In terms of PMLA Rules, suspicious transaction should include inter alia transactions which give rise to a reasonable ground of suspicion that these may involve financing of the activities relating to terrorism. NBFCs are, therefore, advised to develop suitable mechanism through appropriate policy framework for enhanced monitoring of accounts suspected of having terrorist links and swift identification of the transactions and making suitable reports to the Financial Intelligence Unit – India (FIU-IND) on priority.
As and when list of individuals and entities, approved by Security Council Committee established pursuant to various United Nations' Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs), are received from Government of India, Reserve Bank circulates these to all banks and financial institutions (including NBFCs). NBFCs should ensure to update the consolidated list of individuals and entities as circulated by Reserve Bank. Further, the updated list of such individuals/entities can be accessed in the United Nations website at http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/consolist.shtml. NBFCs are advised that before opening any new account it should be ensured that the name/s of the proposed customer does not appear in the list. Further, NBFCs should scan all existing accounts to ensure that no account is held by or linked to any of the entities or individuals included in the list. Full details of accounts bearing resemblance with any of the individuals/entities in the list should immediately be intimated to RBI and FIU-IND.
2. It may be appreciated that KYC norms/AML standards/CFT measures have been prescribed to ensure that criminals are not allowed to misuse the banking/financial channels. It would, therefore, be necessary that adequate screening mechanism is put in place by NBFCs as an integral part of their recruitment/hiring process of personnel.
3. In the context of creating KYC/AML awareness among the staff and for generating alerts for suspicious transactions, NBFCs may consider the indicative list of suspicious activities contained in Annex-V of the CC No.126 dated August 05, 2008.
Countries which do not or insufficiently apply the FATF recommendations.
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has issued several Statements on risks arising from the deficiencies in AML/CFT regime of various countries for example Uzbekistan, Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Sao Tome and Principe on etc. which are updated from time to time. All NBFCs/RNBCs were accordingly advised to consider the information contained in the statements issued by FATF which however, does not preclude financial institutions from legitimate trade and business transactions with the countries and jurisdictions mentioned in the statement.
NBFCs were advised to take into account risks arising from the deficiencies in AML/CFT regime of the jurisdictions included in the FATF Statement. It was further advised that NBFCs should, in addition to FATF Statements circulated by Reserve Bank of India from time to time, also consider publicly available information for identifying such countries, which do not or insufficiently apply the FATF Recommendations. NBFCs should give special attention to business relationships and transactions with persons (including legal persons and other financial institutions) from or in these countries.
Monitoring
In terms of paragraph 4 of Annex-VI of the Master Circular No 184 dated July 1, 2010, ongoing monitoring is an essential element of effective KYC procedures. It is advised that NBFCs should examine the background and purpose of transactions with persons (including legal persons and other financial institutions) from jurisdictions included in FATF Statements and countries that do not or insufficiently apply the FATF Recommendations. Further, if the transactions have no apparent economic or visible lawful purpose, the background and purpose of such transactions should, as far as possible be examined, and written findings together with all documents be retained and made available to Reserve Bank/other relevant authorities, on request.
NBFCs were advised to apply enhanced due diligence measures on high risk customers. Some illustrative examples of customers requiring higher due diligence were also given in the paragraph under reference. NBFCs were further advised that in view of the risks involved in cash intensive businesses, accounts of bullion dealers(including sub-dealers) and jewelers should also be categorized by NBFCs as ‘high risk’ requiring enhanced due diligence.
Ongoing monitoring is an essential element of effective KYC procedures. It was advised that NBFCs are also required to subject these ‘high risk accounts’ to intensified transaction monitoring. High risk associated with such accounts should be taken into account by NBFCs to identify suspicious transactions for filing Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) to FIU-ND.
V Operation of deposit account with NBFCs and money mules
With a view to preventing NBFCs from being used, intentionally or unintentionally, by criminal elements for money laundering or terrorist financing activities, Reserve Bank of India had issued guidelines on Know Your Customer (KYC) norms/Anti-Money Laundering (AML) standards/ Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 that are consolidated in the Master Circular DNBS (PD) CC No 184/03.10.42 / 2010-11 dated July 01, 2010.
It was brought to the notice of NBFCs /RNBCs that “Money mules” can be used to launder the proceeds of fraud schemes (e.g., phishing and identity theft) by criminals who gain illegal access to deposit accounts by recruiting third parties to act as “money mules.” In some cases these third parties may be innocent while in others they may be having complicity with the criminals.
NBFCS were advised to strictly adhere to the guidelines on KYC/AML/CFT issued from time to time and to those relating to periodical updation of customer identification data after the account is opened and also to monitoring of transactions in order to protect themselves and their customers from misuse by such fraudsters. NBFCs were also advised to ensure that their accounts in banks are not used for the purpose of money laundering in the manner specified above.

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