Q: If a legal entity customer opens multiple accounts at a covered financial institution (whether or not simultaneously), must the financial institution identify and verify the customer’s beneficial ownership for each account?
A: Generally, covered financial institutions must identify and verify the legal entity customer’s beneficial ownership information for each new account opening, regardless of the number of accounts opened or over a specific period of time. However, an institution that has already obtained a Certification Form (or its equivalent) for the beneficial owner(s) of the legal entity customer may rely on that information to fulfill the beneficial ownership requirement for subsequent accounts, provided the customer certifies or confirms (verbally or in writing) that such information is up-to-date and accurate at the time each subsequent account is opened and the financial institution has no knowledge of facts that would reasonably call into question the reliability of such information. The institution would also need to maintain a record of such certification or confirmation, including for both verbal and written confirmations by the customer.
The above FAQ was included in FinCEN’s 2nd set of CDD FAQs that were released in April 2018. The FAQs are provided to assist financial institution in understanding the scope of the customer due diligence / beneficial ownership rule. The 2018 FAQs may be found here: