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What is a Politically Exposed Person (PEP), and why are they important?


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When it comes to AML compliance, PEP is likely to be a term you’ll come across. But if you’re new to carrying out AML / KYC checks, then it may be a bit of a mystery as to why they are of any relevance.

What is a PEP?

A Politically Exposed Person (PEP), in simple terms, is someone more vulnerable to being involved in bribery or corruption. That’s not to say that anyone involved in politics is being bribed or is corrupt, but as they have a prominent position and can potentially influence decisions, it is seen that anyone associated with this group can be a higher risk.

What’s the Criteria?

The criteria to determine whether someone is a PEP or not is quite broad, but it can include:

  • Members of Parliament (and members of other Political Representative roles)
  • Key individuals working within supreme courts or high-level judicial bodies
  • Diplomats such as Ambassadors and Charges d’Affaires
  • High-ranking Officers of the Armed Forces
  • Individuals who are in Senior Executive or higher roles at state-owned enterprises (such as Cardiff Airport or Transport for London)
  • Heads of State and associates (such as assistant ministers)
  • Members of committees who can influence locations of major sporting events and contracts, such as International Sports Committees

And that’s not all. The list also includes close associates of these too, such as business partners and immediate family members (including in-laws).

How can you carry out these checks?

When it comes to AML Compliance, you should be checking whether the individual is a PEP. However, given the list above, you may be a panicking that it’s a lot to check.

The good news is, when it comes to carrying out your AML and KYC checks, MLVerify can help. One of our goals is to help you streamline your AML/KYC processes. And as a result, you can enable automatic checks for individuals added to your account against our database of over 75,000 records of PEPs without any restrictions.

This useful tool is also available on our website.

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