ID Register strives to be central repositary

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 | The ID Register

The following article was distributed by FTSE Global Markets on 12 October 2016.The original can be located here.

The ID Register is a new online platform which makes the Know Your Client (KYC), FATCA and CRS registration and administrative processes quicker, easier and more cost effective. With 10,500 asset gatherers enrolled on the platform since July this year, it seems to suggest there is a growing market for digitised and simplified compliance procedures. The ID Register lets users create a single complete profile that is compliant with KYC, FATCA and the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and share it securely with those who need it, which says eliminating the need for multiple paper forms that all ask for similar information in slightly different ways explains Tim Andrews, director at Ipes, the alternative fund administrator.

The ID Register has been developed in response to the changing regulatory requirements explains Andrews, who has led the ID Register initiative. Andrews explains that, "Financial organisations currently face a number of common problems around customer due diligence. It is currently a manual, paper based process, there is often poor visibility of what evidence is held and where there are gaps. Sharing sensitive documents by email is not secure and requesting the same information time and time again from the same people creates hassle and annoyance."

Entry to the platform is free for investors and access is by subscription for private equity funds and fund administrators and other market providers. However, subscription does not mean unfettered access to all data or entries submitted by asset managers. “The service is compliant with European data protection requirements,” explains Andrews, and investors are in complete control as to who can see their data.

Andrews is keen for ID Register to establish itself as an independent industry standard that simplifies the information flow required by regulation such as KYC. “Each regulation has its own information requirements,” he explains. ID Register offers a form which is compliant with multiple regulations, so that firms do not have to spend time filling in lots of different forms. It acts as a central repository of information, though the information is not available to everyone and therefore funds are assured of the integrity of the information they provide to the register.”

Andrews also stresses that while Ipes has led the initiative, it is not a service of the firm and is managed independently and separately from the fund administrator. “Ipes is however now a client of ID Register,” Andrews says.

Andrews points to initiatives by national regulators, such as the Guernsey and Jersey Financial Services Commissions, which have recently updated their guidance to encourage firms to improve the cost effectiveness of Client Due Diligence (CDD) through the adoption of technology. The GFSC "hopes that these changes [to the Handbook] will give firms the confidence to use new technologies. "The ID Register solves these problems, as well as ensuring compliance with differing regulatory requirements in different jurisdictions across KYC, FATCA and CRS,” he says.

“Each KYC profile on The ID Register can also be used to ensure compliance with the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and Common Reporting Standard (CRS) legislation. This eliminates the need for further FATCA self-certifications and drives efficient reporting straight from The ID Register data,” says Andrews.

KPMG in the Channel Islands has been working with The ID Register to ensure that each profile remains compliant with evolving legislation, Andrews explains. The platform, which is currently managed by a subsidiary of Ipes and is independent of the fund administrator, has also utilised expertise from private equity advisor Stepstone. Stepstone partner Jason Ment says, "The ID Register is nothing short of a revolution for the investor on boarding process in the private funds market. The investor on boarding process has become more complicated and protracted in response to regulatory change. This frustrates investors and sponsors alike. The ID Register is a straightforward solution that seems obvious the moment you hear it - the investor completes a profile covering everything one time, and one time only. The profile is kept up to date. The investor shares the profile with each investee fund. No repetition. No wasted time."

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