31 CFR § 1010.230 - Beneficial ownership requirements for legal entity customers.
(a) In general. Covered financial institutions are required to establish and maintain written procedures that are reasonably designed to identify and verify beneficial owners of legal entity customers and to include such procedures in their anti-money laundering compliance program required under 31 U.S.C. 5318(h) and its implementing regulations.
(b) Identification and verification. With respect to legal entity customers, the covered financial institution's customer due diligence procedures shall enable the institution to:
(1) Identify the beneficial owner(s) of each legal entity customer at the time a new account is opened, unless the customer is otherwise excluded pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section or the account is exempted pursuant to paragraph (h) of this section. A covered financial institution may accomplish this either by obtaining a certification in the form of appendix A of this section from the individual opening the account on behalf of the legal entity customer, or by obtaining from the individual the information required by the form by another means, provided the individual certifies, to the best of the individual's knowledge, the accuracy of the information; and
(2) Verify the identity of each beneficial owner identified to the covered financial institution, according to risk-based procedures to the extent reasonable and practicable. At a minimum, these procedures must contain the elements required for verifying the identity of customers that are individuals under § 1020.220(a)(2) of this chapter (for banks); § 1023.220(a)(2) of this chapter (for brokers or dealers in securities); § 1024.220(a)(2) of this chapter (for mutual funds); or § 1026.220(a)(2) of this chapter (for futures commission merchants or introducing brokers in commodities); provided, that in the case of documentary verification, the financial institution may use photocopies or other reproductions of the documents listed in paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(A)(1) of § 1020.220 of this chapter (for banks); § 1023.220 of this chapter (for brokers or dealers in securities); § 1024.220 of this chapter (for mutual funds); or § 1026.220 of this chapter (for futures commission merchants or introducing brokers in commodities). A covered financial institution may rely on the information supplied by the legal entity customer regarding the identity of its beneficial owner or owners, provided that it has no knowledge of facts that would reasonably call into question the reliability of such information.
(c) Account. For purposes of this section, account has the meaning set forth in § 1020.100(a) of this chapter (for banks); § 1023.100(a) of this chapter (for brokers or dealers in securities); § 1024.100(a) of this chapter (for mutual funds); and § 1026.100(a) of this chapter (for futures commission merchants or introducing brokers in commodities).
(d) Beneficial owner. For purposes of this section, beneficial owner means each of the following:
(1) Each individual, if any, who, directly or indirectly, through any contract, arrangement, understanding, relationship or otherwise, owns 25 percent or more of the equity interests of a legal entity customer; and
(2) A single individual with significant responsibility to control, manage, or direct a legal entity customer, including:
(i) An executive officer or senior manager (e.g., a Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Managing Member, General Partner, President, Vice President, or Treasurer); or
(ii) Any other individual who regularly performs similar functions.
(3) If a trust owns directly or indirectly, through any contract, arrangement, understanding, relationship or otherwise, 25 percent or more of the equity interests of a legal entity customer, the beneficial owner for purposes of paragraph (d)(1) of this section shall mean the trustee. If an entity listed in paragraph (e)(2) of this section owns directly or indirectly, through any contract, arrangement, understanding, relationship or otherwise, 25 percent or more of the equity interests of a legal entity customer, no individual need be identified for purposes of paragraph (d)(1) of this section with respect to that entity's interests.
The number of individuals that satisfy the definition of “beneficial owner,” and therefore must be identified and verified pursuant to this section, may vary. Under paragraph (d)(1) of this section, depending on the factual circumstances, up to four individuals may need to be identified. Under paragraph (d)(2) of this section, only one individual must be identified. It is possible that in some circumstances the same person or persons might be identified pursuant to paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) of this section. A covered financial institution may also identify additional individuals as part of its customer due diligence if it deems appropriate on the basis of risk.
(e) Legal entity customer. For the purposes of this section:
(1) Legal entity customer means a corporation, limited liability company, or other entity that is created by the filing of a public document with a Secretary of State or similar office, a general partnership, and any similar entity formed under the laws of a foreign jurisdiction that opens an account.
(2) Legal entity customer does not include:
(i) A financial institution regulated by a Federal functional regulator or a bank regulated by a State bank regulator;
(ii) A person described in § 1020.315(b)(2) through (5) of this chapter;
(vii) Any other entity registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934;
(viii) A registered entity, commodity pool operator, commodity trading advisor, retail foreign exchange dealer, swap dealer, or major swap participant, each as defined in section 1a of the Commodity Exchange Act, that is registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission;
(ix) A public accounting firm registered under section 102 of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act;
(x) A bank holding company, as defined in section 2 of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841) or savings and loan holding company, as defined in section 10(n) of the Home Owners' Loan Act (12 U.S.C 1467a(n));
(xi) A pooled investment vehicle that is operated or advised by a financial institution excluded under paragraph (e)(2) of this section;
(xii) An insurance company that is regulated by a State;
(xiii) A financial market utility designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council under Title VIII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010;
(xiv) A foreign financial institution established in a jurisdiction where the regulator of such institution maintains beneficial ownership information regarding such institution;
(xv) A non-U.S. governmental department, agency or political subdivision that engages only in governmental rather than commercial activities; and
(3) The following legal entity customers are subject only to the control prong of the beneficial ownership requirement:
(i) A pooled investment vehicle that is operated or advised by a financial institution not excluded under paragraph (e)(2) of this section; and
(ii) Any legal entity that is established as a nonprofit corporation or similar entity and has filed its organizational documents with the appropriate State authority as necessary.
(f) Covered financial institution. For the purposes of this section, covered financial institution has the meaning set forth in § 1010.605(e)(1) of this chapter.
(g) New account. For the purposes of this section, new account means each account opened at a covered financial institution by a legal entity customer on or after the applicability date.
(1) Covered financial institutions are exempt from the requirements to identify and verify the identity of the beneficial owner(s) set forth in paragraphs (a) and (b)(1) and (2) of this section only to the extent the financial institution opens an account for a legal entity customer that is:
(i) At the point-of-sale to provide credit products, including commercial private label credit cards, solely for the purchase of retail goods and/or services at these retailers, up to a limit of $50,000;
(ii) To finance the purchase of postage and for which payments are remitted directly by the financial institution to the provider of the postage products;
(iii) To finance insurance premiums and for which payments are remitted directly by the financial institution to the insurance provider or broker;
(iv) To finance the purchase or leasing of equipment and for which payments are remitted directly by the financial institution to the vendor or lessor of this equipment.
(2) Limitations on Exemptions.
(i) The exemptions identified in paragraphs (h)(1)(ii) through (iv) of this section do not apply to transaction accounts through which a legal entity customer can make payments to, or receive payments from, third parties.
(ii) If there is the possibility of a cash refund on the account activity identified in paragraphs (h)(1)(ii) through (iv) of this section, then beneficial ownership of the legal entity customer must be identified and verified by the financial institution as required by this section, either at the time of initial remittance, or at the time such refund occurs.
(i) Recordkeeping. A covered financial institution must establish procedures for making and maintaining a record of all information obtained under the procedures implementing paragraph (b) of this section.
(1) Required records. At a minimum the record must include:
(i) For identification, any identifying information obtained by the covered financial institution pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, including without limitation the certification (if obtained); and
(ii) For verification, a description of any document relied on (noting the type, any identification number, place of issuance and, if any, date of issuance and expiration), of any non-documentary methods and the results of any measures undertaken, and of the resolution of each substantive discrepancy.
(2) Retention of records. A covered financial institution must retain the records made under paragraph (i)(1)(i) of this section for five years after the date the account is closed, and the records made under paragraph (i)(1)(ii) of this section for five years after the record is made.
(j) Reliance on another financial institution. A covered financial institution may rely on the performance by another financial institution (including an affiliate) of the requirements of this section with respect to any legal entity customer of the covered financial institution that is opening, or has opened, an account or has established a similar business relationship with the other financial institution to provide or engage in services, dealings, or other financial transactions, provided that:
(1) Such reliance is reasonable under the circumstances;
(2) The other financial institution is subject to a rule implementing 31 U.S.C. 5318(h) and is regulated by a Federal functional regulator; and
(3) The other financial institution enters into a contract requiring it to certify annually to the covered financial institution that it has implemented its anti-money laundering program, and that it will perform (or its agent will perform) the specified requirements of the covered financial institution's procedures to comply with the requirements of this section.