Principles and Codes and FATCA
Anti-Money Laundering & Counter-Terrorism Financing Principles
The purpose of Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (“CTF”) laws and regulations globally is to prevent criminals from laundering funds and financing terrorism.
Money laundering and terrorism financing undermines the confidence of the public in the international financial system and presents a reputational risk to Hellenic Bank.
Hellenic Bank is committed to combating money laundering and terrorism financing (“ML & TF”) and complying with the Cyprus Anti-Money Laundering Laws 2007 to 2013(1), and the 2016 amendment, and other applicable legal and regulatory requirements. Hellenic Bank has zero tolerance for ML & TF breaches.
- Compliance with AML & CTF laws and regulations;
- Cooperation with and support of regulators and law enforcement agencies in their efforts to prevent, detect and control money laundering and terrorism financing;
- Provide customers with products and services consistent with Hellenic Bank’s ML & TF risk appetite and code of conduct, and
- Adherence to the requirements of Hellenic Bank’s Group AML & CTF Program.
Hellenic Bank’ s Group AML & CTF Program is commensurate with Hellenic Bank’s risk profile and is approved by Hellenic Bank’s Board of Directors. The Group AML & CTF Program is documented in written policies and procedures, including the AML, CTF Policy, and provides a group consistent system of controls to identify and mitigate ML & TF risks and comply with AML & CTF laws and regulations.
The Group AML & CTF Program is structured to reflect Hellenic Bank’s AML & CTF Control Framework aiming to prevent, detect and report suspicious activity. This framework includes:
- Written AML & CTF policies and procedures covering Customer Due Diligence, Know Your Customer and Know Your Transaction requirements, Transaction Monitoring and Reporting of Suspicious Activity;
- ML & TF Risk Assessment;
- AML & CTF automated monitoring and screening systems;
- A designated AML Compliance Officer;
- An ongoing employee training program;
- Records Retention, and
- An independent audit function to test the AML & CTF Program.
Article 60 of the Law refers to the obligation of banks to adopt measures and procedures for, amongst other, identifying and verifying the identity of their customers and collecting information on the purpose and intended nature of the customer relationship. Furthermore, paragraph 83 of the Directive mentions that banks must ensure that their customer identification records and the information that form the business/ economic profile of their customers remain completely updated throughout the customer relationship.
Failure or refusal by a customer to submit the required data and information for updating and as a consequence, Hellenic Bank is unable to comply with the customer identification requirements set out in the Law and the Directive, then Hellenic Bank, in accordance with article 62(4) of the AML Law and paragraphs 81 and 100 of the Directive, does not perform a transaction through client’s bank account/s and should terminate the business relationship and close all of client’s accounts, while at the same time it should examine whether it is warranted, under the circumstances, to submit a report of suspicious transactions/ activities to the Unit for Combating Money Laundering (MOKAS) .
FATCA - CRS
FATCA, which stands for Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, is intended to make United States tax subjects who hold assets outside the United States correctly file tax returns to the United States tax authorities the IRS.
Τhe Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is aiming at improving international tax compliance and preventing tax evasion, through the automatic exchange of information between the countries that implement CRS.
The Cyprus government has reached an agreement in substance with The United States and is treated as having an intergovernmental agreement in effect. This agreement requires Cypriot Financial Institutions to identify financial accounts held by U.S. citizens or by entities that are organized in the U.S. or controlled by certain U.S persons and report those accounts annually to Cyprus Income Tax Authorities.
Hellenic Bank Public Company Ltd, is registered under Model 1 IGA and the Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN) is 7THJLM.00000.LE.196
Therefore, customers might be contacted by the Bank, to state information regarding their country of residence and Tax identification number. It is important to respond to this request.
Customers that believe that they as individuals or their companies could be a US person, should visit The United States IRS website www.IRS.gov for further/additional information.
CRS requires the financial institutions to submit information on financial accounts that are held, directly or indirectly, by account holders who are tax residents of countries which implement CRS.
For more details you can read the announcement below of the Association of Cyprus Banks.
FATCA requires Financial Institutions to report information relating to reportable accounts as provided in the Intergovernmental Agreement to the Cyprus Tax Department.
CRS requires Financial Institutions covered by the standard to report certain information relating to reportable accounts to the Cyprus Tax Department.
In the event of a tax declaration by a customer outside the Republic of Cyprus, Hellenic Bank Public Company Ltd may report data and information regarding to client’s accounts to the Cypriot Tax Department and the Cyprus Tax Department may in turn exchange such information with tax authorities of other countries in which client may be a tax resident, where those countries have entered into agreements to exchange financial account information.
The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (2014/65/EU) (“MiFID II”) is setting out a new institutional framework of operation for the harmonization of markets in financial instruments in Europe.
The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) legislative framework consists of an amending Directive (MiFID II) and a new regulation, the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR). The new legislation has been transposed into Cyprus national law by Law 87(I)/2017 which provides for the provision of investment services, the exercise of investment activities, the operation of regulated markets and other related matters and applies from 3rd of January 2018.
MiFID II sets out the way in which investment firms should conduct their business and the way that they needed to be organized in order to operate correctly. It also covers issues such as the authorisation requirements for regulated financial markets, requirements to report to regulators to avoid market abuse, transparency in buying and selling shares, as well as setting out rules to cover the requirements for financial instruments to be traded.
MiFID II is designed to take account of changes that have happened within the trading environment since MiFID was introduced. In addition, it aims to improve the functioning of financial markets with a view to making them more efficient, more resilient and more transparent in the aftermath of the 2009 global financial crisis.
MiFID II Directive applies to whoever carries out transactions in investment products or receives investment services. It also applies to companies that provide investment services or manufacture and distribute investment products (Banks, Asset Management Firms etc.)
The implementation of MiFID II will have a significant impact on Hellenic Bank Group and how we do business and interact with our clients. MiFID II touches on each key stage of our relationship with you as a client of Hellenic Bank Group, and will impact upon the following key areas:
- Best Execution
- Order Handling
- Client Categorisation
- Terms of Business and Client Agreements
- Suitability and Appropriateness
- Client notifications
- Pre and Post Trade Transparency
- Transaction Reporting
- Safeguarding Client Financial Instruments and Funds; and
- Conflicts of Interest.
Whilst the changes being brought in by this EU directive are significant, we wish to make the transition to the post-MiFID II landscape as smooth as possible for our existing clients.
Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2)
The Payment Services Directive (PSD2), is the second regulatory directive by the European Commission and the European Banking Authority’s aiming to ensure customer security in the payments space. Find out about your rights when making payments in Europe in the documents below
Hellenic Bank Public Company Ltd is a public limited liability company duly registered with the Department of Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver of the Republic of Cyprus licensed by the Central Bank of Cyprus to carry out banking operations in accordance with the Central Bank of Cyprus Laws of 2002 and the Banking Laws of 1997 as these have been and/or may from time to time be amended, replaced, extended or re-enacted . Hellenic Bank Public Company Ltd is regulated by the Central bank of Cyprus and submits to it financial returns and reports in accordance with the provisions of the relevant law and the regulations issued subject thereto.