Sanctions on Russia – monitoring newly sanctioned people and entities – Comment

Following the announcement by the prime minister, Boris Johnson, that Britain will implement the “largest and most severe package of economic sanctions that Russia has ever seen” following the invasion of the Ukraine, Martin Cheek, managing director at SmartSearch says: “These sanctions are far-reaching, and the government clearly intends that Russia should suffer financially as a result of its invasion of Ukraine.

“However, if these sanctions are to be fully effective then it is essential that all regulated sectors in the UK play their part by undertaking effective due diligence to ensure that anyone on a sanctions or politically exposed person’s (PEP) list is highlighted.

“Unfortunately, it will be impossible for companies that still use old-fashioned manual checking methods to do this. By contrast, those companies that have invested in electronic verification will be able to ensure within seconds that they are accurately identifying their clients and screening them against global sanctions and PEP lists.

“As new sanctions are introduced against Russia, the SmartSearch platform is able to provide immediate updates to the sanction and PEP screening lists when there are changes. Also, monitoring means any existing relationships on sanction or PEP lists can be flagged via alerts without a new search being required, and new clients screened through the system will be flagged if they are among the newly sanctioned people and entities.

“The current situation illustrates vividly the importance of electronic verification, and underlines why it should be made mandatory for regulated sectors instead of being optional.”