The Wolfsberg Group issues guidance on best practice for correspondent banking RFIs

The Wolfsberg Group has published a guidance paper on requests for information (RFIs) as used in the anti-money laundering (AML) transaction monitoring process.

The association of global banks that develops frameworks and guidance for the management of financial crime risks – particularly with respect to policies for AML and know your customer (KYC) – says the RFI process is a vital part of the feedback loop between correspondent and respondent banks.

Understanding transactions and relationships

An RFI is used when a correspondent, or any other provider of payment services, is seeking to understand the background of a transaction that has been processed through an account or relationship in its books.

It is directed at the customer entity that sent the payment instruction to the correspondent – this is seen in correspondent banking and other payment relationships where a bank is acting as an intermediary.

Vital information

The RFI process is more than simply a process whereby information is conveyed about particular transactions according to the paper.

It says that used to its fullest potential, it is a vital source of information that allows the correspondent to see how the respondent’s AML/KYC programme works in practice and gives the respondent the opportunity to demonstrate how elements of its programme functions.

Additional benefits

The timeliness, and completeness of responses can be an important input to the correspondent’s evaluation of the respondent relationship the paper says.

Also, receipt of an RFI may serve as a trigger for the respondent to consider its own assessment of its customer’s risk profile.

The Wolfsberg Group paper, Transaction Monitoring Request for Information (RFI) Best Practice Guidance, can be found here.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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