Anti-Money Laundering Law: all the details
Why does AG need to identify and verify your ultimate beneficial owner(s)?
The Law of 18 September 2017 on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing requires AG to identify and verify your ultimate beneficial owner(s).
What is an ultimate beneficial owner(s)?
Only natural persons may be designated as ultimate beneficial owners. A UBO is a natural person who, directly or indirectly, has final ownership or control of the legal entity, company or legal arrangement, and/or is the final beneficiary when an institution initiates a transaction. In principle, you are also required to register these natural persons in the UBO register.
- For non-publicly listed companies (SA/NV, SARL/BV, etc.):
- category 1: the natural person(s) who, directly or indirectly, hold(s) a minimum percentage of voting rights or capital in the underlying entity (25% = minimum percentage).
- category 2: the natural person(s) who control(s) the company by other means (e.g. the right to appoint or dismiss directors, veto rights, etc.).
- category 3: the natural person(s) holding a senior executive position at the company (e.g. the CEO, the Chairman of the Board, etc.) if no natural person can be identified as the ultimate beneficial owner according to the categories described above.
- For an (international) non-profit organisation or foundation:
- the natural person(s) who serve on the Board of Directors.
- the natural persons authorised to represent the association.
- the natural persons responsible for the day-to-day administration.
- the founders of a foundation.
- the natural persons or, if such persons have yet to be determined, the category of persons in whose main interest the (international) non-profit organisation or foundation is set up or operates.
- any other natural person exercising ultimate control over the (international) non-profit organisation or foundation by other means.
- For a fiduciary, trust or other similar legal arrangement:
- the founder(s).
- the fiduciary manager(s) or trustee(s).
- the protector(s), if any.
- the beneficiaries or - if the persons who are the beneficiaries of the trust have yet to be determined - the category of persons in whose main interest the trust is set up or operates
- any other natural person who, as direct or indirect owner or by other means, ultimately controls the trust or fiduciary
In which cases can you be exempt from this requirement?
Identification and verification of your ultimate beneficial owner(s) is not required when:
- your company is publicly listed or, in other words, is traded on a regulated stock market and subject to disclosure requirements consistent with EU legislation or equivalent international standards ensuring adequate transparency of ownership information, or if the company that controls your business is publicly listed.
- your company has a legal structure other than the legal structures referred to in question 2 or, in other words, sui generis legal entities such as organisations for funding pensions, autonomous municipal authorities, cooperatives set up pursuant to the Decree on Local Government, church supply companies, project associations, special funds, etc.
If you believe that your company fits one of the definitions above and as such is entitled to an exemption, we will ask you to present proof of the valid exemption that applies in your case.
What supporting evidence do you need to present to AG?
You will need to provide AG with a double-sided copy of the electronic ID card(s) of the ultimate beneficial owner(s). For citizens of countries other than Belgium, an equivalent proof of identity must be provided.
Furthermore, additional information may be requested, such as an extract from the UBO register, and - for Category Two ultimate beneficial owners - the attendance list from the most recent General Shareholders' Meeting and Board of Directors' meeting, the company's organisational chart or the shareholders' agreements.
When does AG need to receive the information?
At the latest, AG needs to receive the information and documentary evidence regarding your ultimate beneficial owner(s) prior to entering into the business relationship and upon AG's request in the context of updating of the information.
What are the consequences if you do not provide the supporting evidence?
If you fail to provide the ultimate beneficial owner(s) information and supporting evidence, AG will be prohibited from entering into or maintaining a business relationship with you. This means that we will be unable to administer your group insurance plan until we receive the required information.
What if your ultimate beneficial owner(s) change?
You are required to notify AG immediately and in writing of any change in your ultimate beneficial owner(s). You will also need to provide AG with the necessary supporting evidence for the new ultimate beneficial owner(s).