Money laundering prevention
As a listed company, head of the Crédit Agricole S.A. Group and central body of the Crédit Agricole Group, Crédit Agricole S.A. is subject to European and French legislation and regulations on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing and on the enforcement of embargos.
Crédit Agricole S.A. has established Group policies which require the implementation of an anti-money laundering and terrorist financing system, mainly including:
- Know your customer rules to identify and obtain information about customers or their beneficial owners.
- Rules for identifying, documenting and analysing transactions made by customers in order to detect any sums or transactions that may constitute money laundering or terrorist financing activities.
- Rules for reporting suspicious transactions to the relevant Financial Intelligence Unit (Tracfin in France).
- Rules for archiving, training and internal control.
These policies apply to all Crédit Agricole Group entities, except where the applicable local legislation imposes stricter rules or does not permit or is incompatible with these policies.
Crédit Agricole S.A. is subject to supervision by the Commission Bancaire and the Autorité des Marchés Financiers, which, as regulators, ensure that it complies with regulations.
U.S. Patriot Act :
The Crédit Agricole Group meets the requirements of the Patriot Act
regulations issued by the US Treasury, which apply to any foreign bank
that maintains a correspondent account with a US financial institution.
FATCA, a regulation impacting Crédit Agricole SA Group and its customers
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) is a U.S. law whose objective is to combat tax evasion by U.S tax payers. The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS” – U.S. tax authorities) has set up a framework to collect on a yearly basis from non-U.S. financial institutions information relating to foreign income and assets held by U.S. taxpayers outside the United States.
Starting 1st July 2014 financial institutions such as banks, life insurance companies, asset management companies, custodians, etc. will have to put in place procedures to identify their U.S. clients. During the year 2015, the financial institutions will start reporting to the U.S. tax authorities the identity and the tax identification number of their U.S. clients as well as their accounts’ balance as of 12/31/2014. Additional information on income, then on the gross proceeds resulting from the sale of securities, will be added progressively to the reporting the following years.
In order to facilitate the implementation of FATCA a large number of countries, including France, have negotiated intergovernmental agreements with the USA. Those countries will need to transpose into their national law the tax reporting requirements of FATCA.
Position of the Crédit Agricole SA Group:
The Crédit Agricole SA Group has decided early on to comply with FATCA and thus set up a transversal project team to carry out the implementation of this regulation. All financial institutions within the Group impacted by FATCA are working diligently to comply with the regulation and be ready once it comes into force. The Crédit Agricole SA Group is planning to register on the IRS portal within allotted timeframes in order to be listed as a FATCA compliant financial institution on the first list published by the IRS. This registration is dependent on the signature of the intergovernmental agreement between France and the United States.
Impacts for customers:
The Crédit Agricole S.A Group will contact its pre-existing individual clients when U.S. indicia are detected in order to determine their situation with respect to the law and to obtain the relevant documentation if necessary.
Listed companies and their subsidiaries as well as industrial and commercial companies are exempted from this regulation. However entities for which most of the revenues come from financial assets or if more than 50% of the balance sheet consists of financial assets will be subject to an analysis of their ownership. To the extent a beneficial owner is a U.S citizen or a U.S. resident for tax purposes, it should provide its U.S. tax identification number. The Crédit Agricole SA Group may contact its entity clients to confirm their status in relation to the regulation.
After 1st July 2014, when opening a new account, the Crédit Agricole SA Group will collect information from its customers allowing the identification of U.S citizens or U.S. residents for tax purposes. For U.S. customers, the documentation required for the reporting to the IRS will be requested. In addition, specific documents could be asked to entity customers so that their FATCA status can be confirmed.
For our counterparties that are financial institutions or customers located in countries that have not signed an intergovernmental agreement, a 30% withholding tax will be levied on certain income from U.S. sources in case of non-compliance with FATCA. Moreover, the total amount of payments made to non-participating financial institutions during the years 2015 and 2016 will be reported to the IRS.