Anti-money laundering firm SmartSearch has updated its international business reports service, with the addition of 97 new countries to its online platform.
The improvements have been made to give businesses more tools to deal with the rise in fraud and cybercrime, which the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said has increased by nearly a third in the last 12 months.
SmartSearch’s international business reports provide a solution to complete Know Your Business (KYB) checks, and offer comparable and hard-to-find company information, and corporate ownership structures. By using a variety of data sources, the service will verify international companies, helping to mitigate the risk of fraud.
The reports provide full shareholder and ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO) details, alongside business identification data, consolidated financial information and also screens the business to ensure it is not on a sanction list.
John Dobson, CEO of SmartSearch, said: “The national lockdowns in response to the outbreak of the pandemic, caused a spike in attempted fraud, with organised criminals using the lack of face-to-face interactions as the perfect opportunity to set up a fake company. And sadly, this increase is unlikely to slow-down any-time soon.
“As so many businesses now operate internationally, ensuring a business is legitimate has never been more crucial. It takes a lot of time and effort to try to manually verify whether not only the person you’re speaking to is legitimate, but whether they are actually connected to the business they claim to be.
“Regulatory differences between countries can be challenging, but our solution is continually updated in line with laws and regulations, ensuring businesses always meets their legal requirements.
“Our new enhancement will help prevent businesses from falling foul to fraud and help protect clients from the rising number of fake companies.”
To generate a business report, clients enter the company name, business postcode and region, and the system will perform a full KYB check, including sanction screening on the entity and any associated entities retuned.
The checks can also be retrospectively conducted on existing clients to ensure a business is fully complaint in the case of an audit. The checks also include ongoing monitoring and sanction checks to ensure the client is alerted to any status changes, whilst providing continued regulatory compliance.