Combining Rich History with Innovation to Solve Contemporary KYC Needs

Vito Cinesi, Head of Correspondent Banking and Foreign Financial Institutions at Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena – the world’s oldest bank – discusses how Bankers Almanac KYC has helped the institution to thrive.

I am proud to work for the world’s oldest bank, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS). MPS was founded in 1472 to aid underprivileged portions of the population. Today, it is a commercial retail bank that mainly serves Italian families and small to medium enterprises and has evolved to fit contemporary needs.

From the development of our online bank in 2014 to our strong culture of innovation, MPS continues to focus on the needs of our clients, including facilitating foreign business transactions. Many of our clients have a need to conduct business both in the European Union and all over the world. In this way, MPS still carries the rich history of Italian trade through our correspondent banking activities.

As Head of Correspondent Banking and Foreign Financial Institutions at MPS, I manage the relationships with our foreign banking partners. A crucial part of onboarding and managing this relationship is due diligence, which is no easy task.

The goal of our due diligence process is to not only remain compliant with regulations, but also to know exactly who our counterparties are in order to effectively serve our customers. To accomplish our goal, we must gather many documents to verify the identity of the bank and its Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBO).

Obtaining these documents can be a very manual and arduous task, involving countless communications with our potential business partners over the span of several weeks. After collecting these documents, we must assess their quality to ensure the documents are up-to date and meet both strict regulatory and internal standards. This process is repeated as we complete ongoing due diligence on our existing partners over time. Ultimately, this requires an immense amount of time and energy from myself and my team.

To expedite our due diligence process, MPS has had a longstanding relationship with Accuity, and my team and I are daily users of the Bankers Almanac Counterparty Know Your Customer (KYC) solution suite.

Bankers Almanac Due Diligence houses the documentation necessary for our due diligence checks. All the documents in this repository have been pre-assessed by the Bankers Almanac team against regulatory standards and are frequently updated with the most current information. The Due Diligence module has dramatically increased our efficiency, allowing myself and my team to reallocate the many hours of document collection and assessment to other important duties.

We also use the Ultimate Beneficial Ownership module to help us solve one of the biggest challenges of KYC: effectively identifying the ultimate beneficial owners of a financial institution. The module includes the UBO declaration documentation, as well as a visualisation of shareholders. This tool enables us to efficiently identify the UBO and continue with our due diligence procedures.

Our relationship with Bankers Almanac has been incredibly fruitful. Our cost-benefit analysis proves time and time again that the Bankers Almanac KYC suite is an essential investment. Both Bankers Almanac Due Diligence and Bankers Almanac Ultimate Beneficial Ownership enable us to conduct efficient and accurate KYC, saving our bank time and resources. With these tools, we speak less with our partners about compliance and speak more about business, allowing us to better serve our customers.

The Bankers Almanac suite proves to be an essential investment year after year. As a longstanding customer and as a part of an institution with a rich history itself, I applaud the legacy and continued innovation of Bankers Almanac.

Celebrating 175 years of Bankers Almanac – find out more here.