General Communiqué of Financial Crimes Investigation Board numbered 19, effective as of 1 May 2021, on remote identity verification (the “Communiqué”), was published in Official Gazette numbered 31470 of 30 April 2021.

The important provisions included in the Communiqué are briefly as follows:

  • The obliged parties may use remote identification methods for the purpose of verifying the identity of the customer in the establishment of a permanent business relationship if the legislation pertaining to their main field of activity permits to establish a contract with methods that allow the verification of their identity without confrontation with their customers. These methods are determined separately by the obliged parties.
  • Remote communication devices such as information technology or electronic communication devices through an electronic channel can be used in establishing a permanent business relationship with remote identification.
  • The method to be applied must be designed to include all the information required for face-to-face identification and to contain minimum risk in the confirmation of the information. It is not mandatory to take a signature sample for remote identification.
  • The information obtained in remote identification is kept in a way that allows the information and documents for confirmation and the records in all kinds of media to be given to the competent authorities when requested.
  • With the customer’s application, a risk assessment is made about the applicant in order to create and evaluate the customer profile. In this context, in addition to the mandatory information about the customer, at least the purpose and nature of the business relationship, the source of the assets and the funds belonging to the customer, and the average income information, the monthly estimated transaction volume and the number of transactions of the account to be opened are collected.
  • Financial institutions and certain non-financial businesses and professions apply one or more or all of the following measures, in proportion to the risk identified within the framework of the risk-based approach, in transactions related to remote identification:
  • Obtaining additional information about the customer and updating the identity information of the customer and the real beneficiary more frequently.
  • To enter into a business relationship, to maintain the current business relationship or to connect the execution of the transaction with the approval of a senior officer.
  • Keeping the business relationship under strict supervision by increasing the number and frequency of the controls applied and determining the types of transactions that require additional control.
  • To require the first financial transaction to be made from another financial institution to which the principles regarding the recognition of the customer apply in establishing a permanent business relationship.
  • To closely monitor transactions that do not comply with the financial profile and activities of the customer or are not related to their activities.
  • To take appropriate and effective measures, including determining the amount and number of transactions limit.

The full text of the Communiqué is available at this link. (Only available in Turkish)