Beneficial Owners Overview
Information required to open a business account5/3/2018
Effective May 11, 2018, the Bank Secrecy Act requires financial institutions to collect additional identifying information of beneficial owners when opening an account for a covered legal entity. If you are opening an account on behalf of a legal entity, you will need to provide this information and certify that it is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge.
WHO IS CONSIDERED A "BENEFICIAL OWNER?"
- Each individual, if any, who owns, directly or indirectly, 25 percent or more of the equity interests of the legal entity customer (e.g., each person who owns 25 percent or more of the shares of a corporation); and
- An individual with significant responsibility for managing the legal entity (e.g., a Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Managing Member, General Partner, President, Vice President, or Treasurer).
The number of individuals who satisfy this definition of "beneficial owner" may vary depending on the factual circumstances of your legal entity. You must provide the identifying information of one individual, but it may be required to list up to five individuals based on the structure of your organization.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED A "LEGAL ENTITY?"
For the purposes of the certification form, a legal entity includes a corporation, limited liability company, or other entity that is created by a filing of a public document with a Secretary of State or similar office, a general partnership, and any similar business entity formed in the United States or a foreign country.
Legal entity does not include sole proprietorships, unincorporated associations, or natural persons opening accounts on their own behalf.
WHY DOES THE BANK NEED INFORMATION ON THE OWNERS OF MY BUSINESS/ORGANIZATION?
To help the government fight financial crime, federal regulation requires certain financial institutions to obtain, verify and record information about the beneficial owners of legal entity customers. Legal entities can be abused to disguise involvement in terrorist financing, money laundering, tax evasion, corruption, fraud, and other financial crimes. Requiring the disclosure of key individuals who own or control a legal entity (i.e., the beneficial owners) helps law enforcement investigate and prosecute these crimes.
WHO HAS TO COMPLETE THE CERTIFICATION FORM FOR BENEFICIAL OWNERS?
The certification form must be completed by the person opening a new account on behalf of a legal entity with any of the following U.S. financial institutions: a bank or credit union; a broker or dealer in securities; a mutual fund; a futures commission merchant; or an introducing broker in commodities.
WHAT INFORMATION DO I HAVE TO PROVIDE?
The certification form requires you to provide the name, address, date of birth and Social Security number (or passport number or other similar information, in the case of foreign persons) for the beneficial owners. You may also be required to provide a driver's license or other identifying document for each beneficial owner listed on this form.
WHAT DOES SIGNING THE CERTIFICATION FORM FOR BENEFICIAL OWNERS MEAN?
Signing certifies, to the best of the signer’s knowledge, information supplied on the form is complete and correct.
IS THIS INFORMATION KEPT CONFIDENTIAL?
Yes, Fidelity Bank follows privacy and information security requirements that include non-public customer information.
WILL THIS INFORMATION BE COLLECTED MORE THAN ONCE?
Yes, the bank may periodically ask the legal entity at 1) the time a new account is opened, 2) an account is renewed, 3) or an account or relationship is modified to re-certify the beneficial ownership of the legal entity.
If you have questions regarding the information requirements on your legal entity account, please visit your nearest branch office. We are here to help.