Business Relocation: A Payment Company Told About Opening an Account in Europe; The political crisis in Belarus has caused an unprecedented stir around the local IT industry. The Baltic countries and Ukraine almost staged a competition to attract Belarusian startups, promising a quick processing of documents for residence permits (residence permits) and visas for highly skilled workforce. At the same time, entrepreneurs in Belarus are increasingly discussing the possibility of relocating their business to Europe. However, there are still many difficulties on the western path. One of them is the opening of settlement accounts, because it is no secret that the purge of the banking sector in the Baltic countries and the subsequent tightening of the AML policy (anti-money laundering) of credit institutions practically turned on the red light for international clients. He even commented on this recently .Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins, who called on banks to stop seeing everyone as a threat.
Fortunately, the financial reality today is such that businesses still have a choice. If the conservative policy of many banks makes it difficult for customers from outside the EU, then payment companies are ready to consider specific cases.
So, according to the executive director of the British fintech platform Bilderlings Dmitry Kuvshinov, his company works with a business opened by Belarusians in Europe.
“We always consider such clients, regardless of the current events in Belarus. For us, these are clients of moderate risk: they are already moving into European jurisdiction, leaving the CIS zone, which is often assessed as “gray” by the European financial sector,” Kuvshinov noted.
However, not only jurisdictions, but also areas of activity can be relatively high-risk. In particular, they just include IT-business, as well as marketing and consulting.
“The risk is that the company could potentially participate in money laundering schemes. If an IT company receives orders from an offshore company for huge amounts, and then gives them to the development of another offshore company owned by Ivan Ivanych, then one immediately gets the impression that Ivan Ivanych is thus “optimizing taxes” or is spending funds of unknown origin.
That is why it is important for us that this be a real business, with real-life and public partners. And the performers should be legal entities, or freelancers who are also known and really exist, ”Kuvshinov emphasized.
The CEO of Bilderlings also named the main “beacons” that AML specialists pay attention to when analyzing clients:
“one. Website. It should reflect what the company is really doing. It is not uncommon for a large IT company to have an absolutely template site that has not been updated for many years, where old contacts that have lost their relevance and the list of services do not correlate in any way with what people indicated in the questionnaire.
2. Real turnover. IT companies often come and say they are going to make a turnover of 2 million euros. We look at the staff, and there is one person, and the partners are small marketplaces with which they automate CRM and CMS systems. Well, where does two million come from? Of course, suspicions may arise in the legalization of criminally acquired funds. Therefore, they must declare activities and turnovers as accurate as possible, not try to embellish them. For us, too high speeds are much more terrible than underestimated ones. ”
In addition, Kuvshinov noted that the company is ready to consider applications not only from corporate clients, but also individuals with citizenship of the CIS countries:
“We don’t see anything wrong with this – we have a very strong verification system that calculates potentially risky clients,” Kuvshinov said.
He also stressed that every potential client is checked for sanctions lists.
“We will not open an account for an individual who is on any sanctions lists and whose origin of funds is not clear – it is correct to say here who does not comply with internal “know your customer”, KYC policies. That is, when opening a client, we must understand where he gets his money from, how he lives, with whom he works, ”summed up Kuvshinov.