Alacra has improved access to due diligence documents for UK domiciled firms by integrating the beta version of Companies House application programming interface (API) with the Alacra Compliance Enterprise (ACE) platform that provides Know Your Customer and client onboarding services. The company, recently acquired by compliance platform provider Opus, is also working with Companies House to add beneficial ownership information to ACE.
The Companies House API replaces searches for companies and documents that had be made one at a time and provides the ability to search for data on multiple entities simultaneously and streamline the acquisition of due diligence documents.
Alacra has been working with Companies House to integrate the API with ACE since late last year and now includes the UK information in its workflow. Steve Goldstein, vice chairman of Opus, says: “Faster, better and smarter ways to access this critical information will provide tremendous benefits to our customers. They can search and grab documents easily, saving costs and time, and reducing errors.”
Companies House is also developing a registry of persons with significant control, or beneficial ownership, of UK domiciled firms. Alacra will integrate this information with ACE over the next few months. The information supports compliance with European regulations such as the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which requires companies onboarding customers and counterparties to collect beneficial ownership information about them. In the US and following the Panama Papers incident, the Treasury and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) are working on similar rules that are likely to come into force in the next six months.
Goldstein comments: “It is important for companies to understand who they are dealing with and be confident that the information they have is accurate. Companies House is emerging as a leader in making this kind of beneficial ownership information available and we plan on integrating the data into ACE. This is a big win for our customers.”