So, you’re instructing us, and we’ve asked you to provide us with some identification. Perhaps you’re not too comfortable providing us with such information. Why do we need it? Can you trust it’ll be held securely?
Why do we need such information?
The Money Laundering Regulations require solicitors to verify the identity of those instructing them. As part of our commitment to this, we ask our clients to provide us with some identification (ID), specifically one piece of photo ID, and one document providing proof of address (such as a UK current bank account statement from the last 3 months, showing sort code and account number).
We use these details to do our anti-money laundering checks. The regulations require us to retain copies of verified identification for audit purposes.
How do we ensure this information is kept securely?
The ID provided is securely stored on our internal document management system and then on a virtual client file, once opened. We have strict information security protocols in place, which meet all regulatory and legal requirements. They incorporate physical and digital security measures, such as data encryption at rest and in transit, and strict user authentication and access policies, including multi-factor and password policies as part of a wider cybersecurity policy. Our protocols are regularly reviewed for compliance and best practice purposes.
We use electronic verification as a means to verify our clients identity. Specifically:
- A full electoral roll search will be conducted;
- Credit Reference Agencies will place a ‘soft footprint’ search on your electronic file, and your personal details may be accessed by third parties for the specific purpose of anti-money laundering, credit assessment, identity verification, debt collection, asset reunification, tracing and fraud prevention.
Our duty of confidentiality
As a Christian organisation, we hold a commitment to Christlike care of all our clients, and this extends to safeguarding your privacy, and treating any data we receive from you with the care and protection it requires.
As a law firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, we are required to keep the affairs of current and former clients confidential, save where otherwise agreed by the client or permitted in law. This duty of confidentiality is one of the legal profession’s core professional principles.