a. What has this got to do with opening Trading/Demat account? The first step in the laundering process for criminals is to get their money into an account with a Bank/Financial intermediaries, often using a false identity and address. The funds so deposited will be transferred to other accounts locally or abroad or used for buying goods or services. This transaction would appear to be like any legally earned money and becomes difficult to trace it back to its criminal past. SEBI registered Intermediary under law should not only prevent this, but should stop criminals who wish to use the banking/Financial channel to launder the ill-gotten money from illegal/criminal activities.
b. How could money laundering affect you as a customer? A key defence against money laundering is to prevent accounts being opened in false identities. Anyone wishing to open an account will therefore be asked for proof of their identity, address and signature. These documents have to be essentially obtained irrespective of the type of account to be opened and the purpose for which the account is opened for. The fact that these documents are asked for opening of account does not mean that you are suspected of money laundering. Criminals try to appear to be normal law-abiding customers, for example they may try to open a number of accounts using small amounts of money. Hence it is necessary to identify all prospective account holders or customers. Anybody including a criminal could falsely use your identity, if these identity documents are not obtained.
c. What are the responsibilities of a client related to money laundering?
Upstox has to conduct ongoing due diligence and scrutiny, i.e. perform ongoing scrutiny of the transactions and account throughout the course of the business relationship to ensure that the transactions being conducted are consistent with the registered intermediary’s knowledge of the customer, its business and risk profile, taking into account, where necessary, the customer’s source of funds. Clients should provide Upstox with updated details of their occupation, source of income and give details of their annual income and net worth on annual basis. Further, they should provide explanation for any trading pattern observed by Upstox in its routine course.