Information for Law Enforcement officers and Statement on Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing
Within the single European license, Mercurius Partners is authorized to provide payment services in the European Economic Area. Mercurius Partners is the subject to supervision by the National Bank of Czech Republic. Mercurius Partners allow to perform payment transactions - transferring funds from a payment account or on a payment account in Mercurius Partners. Company is not the owner of these funds, the final beneficiary of the payments. Activity of Mercurius focuses on providing payment services to Clients (private individuals and legal entities) from EU countries.
The Policy of Anti-Money Laundering, Countering Terrorism Financing and Enforcement of Sanctions includes the following basic principles in the area of AML/CFT:
In order to efficiently implement the provisions of the Policy, the Company use the following Principles:
Principles on Compliance with Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Sanctions:
Principles on High – Risk Jurisdictions:
Company comply with the relevant legislation and voluntary standards governing compliance*, including requirements set forth in the self-regulating industry documents.
Company recognize and take into account the AML/CFT principles enshrined in the laws and regulations of other countries relevant to their operations, including those of the USA, as long as they do not contradict with the requirements of EU or Czech legislation.
Company comply with the following AML/CFT international standards and best practice guidelines:
3.1. Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations;
3.2. Guidelines of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision;
3.3. Wolfsberg Group Guidelines.
Company comply with the following Principles in furtherance of effective implementation of this Policy: 4.1. The Principles for Compliance with Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Sanctions; 4.2. The Principles on High-risk Jurisdictions;
Company ensure that overall risk management policies and procedures and specifically the AML/CFT Compliance Program is appropriate and enables sound management of risks related to their operations. Company recognize that formal adherence to the regulatory requirements is not a guarantee of the Compliance Program being considered effective and sufficient.
Company regularly conduct a comprehensive risk assessment to evaluate ML/TF risks as well as international, national and extra-territorial sanctions risk present in their operations. In addition to independent external compliance reviews, Company regularly execute and document relevant stress tests, as well as quality assurance tests of their policies and procedures.
Based on the results of the comprehensive risk assessment, Company design and implement an internal control system that provides for appropriate level of mitigation of the risks identified.
Company understand that when it comes to ensuring sound risk management and effective internal controls commensurate to the results of the comprehensive risks assessment, the laws and regulations will typically provide for the minimum requirements and may thus be insufficient to provide for appropriate level of risk mitigation.
Company appoint designated AML/CFT officers (hereinafter – Designated Officer) to ensure integrity of operations and sound AML/CFT risk management.
Highly qualified experts shall be appointed as Designated Officers – those who exhibit the required experience and qualifications, and are able to ensure adherence to high ethical standards in their decision-making and have proven such thru their past work experience.
Company guard against any conflict of interest, including nepotism, situations in appointment of Designated Officers.
If any transactions cause suspicions of possible violations of any international, national or extra-territorial sanctions as regards the transaction in question or client involved, Company perform enhanced due diligence and apply precautionary principle, i.e., transactions are not executed if it is not possible to perform sufficient due diligence to remove suspicion beyond doubt. Company do not penalize employees who, having consulted the Designated Officer, decide to refrain from clearing the transaction or rendering a financial service due to reasonable doubts about possible sanctions violations.
Company is cognizant that companies, which do not have any real economic activity or that are not creating an economic value appropriate for the type of economic activity, expose the banking sector of Czech Republic to increased risk, and therefore the Company do not do business with such clients – shell companies. Real economic activity is characterized by legal and economically justified transactions, which have the following features:
1.1 the client has business partners, about whom there are records or publicly available information that clearly describes the purpose of their operation, for example, in transactions in goods, those are conducted with a well-known manufacturer or distributor;
1.2 documents supporting the transactions do not cause suspicions of bogus transactions, including the following, for example:
a) regarding transactions in goods - bills of lading, storage documents, certificates of origin or certificates of quality provide information on the counterparties that is publicly verifiable;
b) regarding the client’s assets - there are documents certifying the property rights or excerpts from public registers.
Company do not render services to clients who were created and operate in order to avoid taxes.
Company is aware that shell companies that are related to real economic activity, but have other features of a shell company, still cause high risk: therefore, business relationships with them are possible only upon executing enhanced due diligence and with additional monitoring measures. Enhanced due diligence and stricter monitoring measures are implemented by, for example:
3.1. obtaining annual financial reports on their operations;
3.2. properly documenting that the entities in question are subsidiaries or belong to a group of companies that are not shell companies, and their financial reports are included in consolidated financial reports of the parent company;
3.3. properly documenting that they are owned by natural persons and their operations are presented in the tax declarations of the natural persons;
3.4. properly documenting their real economic activity and if necessary resorting to additional measures in order to make sure that the economic activity or transactions of the client are not being performed with the aim of tax avoidance.
In order to ensure execution of clauses 1 to 3 above, Company create and maintain appropriate and properly automated transaction control processes, as well as ensure regular and proper training of employees. Transaction control processes should ensure that the employees of the Company are neither providing consultations nor assisting in preparation of documents for clients for such actions that are aimed at circumventing compliance requirements or tax obligations.
Company's workflows is the permanent improvement of compliance with the international, national, and extraterritorial sanctions regime in cooperation with the state authorities and financial institutions of Czech Republic, the EU, and the USA.
Compliance with the restrictions imposed on the US financial market participants by the sanctions programmes set by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (hereinafter – OFAC), is essential for this successful and sustainable cooperation.
OFAC sanctions programmes cover several categories of sanctions against, but not limited to, the following:
3.1. designated countries
3.2. designated entities established or operating in the interests of the designated countries subject to sanctions;
3.3. designated persons identified to have violated the sanctions set by the US;
3.4. individuals and organizations identified as involved in international crime.6. Compliance with the OFAC sanctions will boost the Banks’ credibility, reduce the probability of the Banks’ reputational risk occurrence, and will thus further improve the international reputation of the whole Latvian financial services sector.
Under their operations, the Company comply with the prohibitions stipulated in the OFAC sanctions and preclude execution of the transactions contravening those prohibitions, unless the same contradicts the normative acts binding upon Czech Republic.
Under compliance with the OFAC sanctions, Company follow ‘comply or explain’ principle, namely, Company either ensure full implementation of the OFAC sanctions or explain (document) the specific circumstances and the reasons for non-compliance with those.
Following the principle stated in Clause 5, the Company comply with the OFAC sanctions under transactions and financial services in both the USD and any other currency.
The Company ensure that internal control systems are sufficient and adequate for compliance with the OFAC sanctions.
Company shall comply with restrictions set forth on cooperation with jurisdictions identified as presenting high–risk of money laundering and terrorism financing in this Section on High-Risk Jurisdictions (hereinafter – the Principles). For the purposes of these Principles money laundering and terrorism financing risk encompasses also international, national and extraterritorial financial sanctions.
Company is fully aware of all current laws and regulations applicable in Czech Republic protecting against the effects of the extra-territorial application of legislation adopted by a third country, and actions based thereon or resulting therefrom (Official Journal, L 309, 29/11/1996 pp. 0001 – 0006) that prohibit legal entities incorporated in the European Union (hereinafter – EU) to execute certain sanctions programmes adopted by the United States of America (hereinafter – the USA) against Cuba, Iran and Libya.
Cooperation with high–risk jurisdictions having strategical deficiencies in the AML/CFT field (http://www.fatf-gafi.org/countries/#high-risk), or jurisdictions on which international, national, or extra-territorial sanctions are imposed, causes increased compliance risks to the Company.
Being aware of this deficiency, the Company do not render financial services to legal entities and individuals of jurisdictions who are identified as High-risk and Non-Cooperative Jurisdictions by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
* Zero-tolerance – in AML/CFT field, upon following the laws and other regulatory enactments regulating the operation of the Company, as well as following the standards set by self-regulating institutions and related to the operation of the former, codes of professional conduct and ethics, and other best practice standards introduced in the AML/CFT field, the Company do not apply the tolerated risk exposure limits expressed in monetary form (e.g., an amount of acceptable monetary fine).
** A situation in which a person seeks to avoid civil or criminal liability for a wrongful act by intentionally keeping oneself unaware of facts that would render liability.
*** Compliance laws, rules and standards – laws and other regulations on the operation of Mercuruis Partners standards set by self-regulating institutions related to the operation of Company, codes of professional conduct and ethics, and other best practice standards applicable to the operation of Company.
**** A member of the Management Board of the Company in charge of compliance with AML/CFT requirements and employees of the Company in charge of compliance with AML/CFT requirements (AML/CFT Officer, MLR Officer, Sanctions Officer, Internal Auditors), who are specialists in AML/CFT field, etc.)
***** In their whistle-blowing policies, the Banks define the criteria of unfair action and violations, about which the reports could be submitted through alarm channel.
****** For example: the Law on Payment Services and Electronic Money and Council Regulation (EC) No 2271/96 of 22 November 1996 protecting against the effects of the extra-territorial application of legislation adopted by a third country, and actions based thereon or resulting therefrom, prohibiting the legal entities established in the European Union from compliance with the particular sanctions programmes against Cuba, Iran, and Libya adopted by the US.