When creating First Global Credit we believed that like all financial institutions we needed to adopt KYC standards for several reasons. First and foremost, if you do not have knowledge of who is using your systems you are creating an invitation to thieves who thrive in an environment of anonymity. If users remain anonymous it is impossible to track them if they hack systems and steal assets. By simply demanding that people verify their identity and location, those looking for easy picking are likely to look elsewhere to carry out their thefts.
The second reason, and this speaks more directly to how we chose to structure our business, is that no one operates their business in a vacuum. We operate ours in the real world, where, if you choose to ignore AML and KYC, you are creating the perfect environment for a government to enter and seize your client’s assets.
Privacy is the issue not Anonymity
This is the point that people are missing. Reasonable people are not concerned with anonymity. What they really are concerned with is privacy and having their financial records open to examination by any government body that chooses to make a blanket request.
There is a simple and realistic way to deal with this issue that certainly takes more work, but does not counter agreed conventions. We have chosen to domicile our businesses in countries that share our values of respecting our client’s privacy. This attitude is shared by many significant financial companies who have taken the view that they will not and cannot operate an office in any country that demands the right to make a blanket request to look at customer information.
If a warrant is issued due to suspected criminal activity there is absolutely no question that we would pass that along to our solicitor to be taken up in a court of law. Furthermore, if there is evidence of criminal activity we will certainly provide full details of that particular customer to the authorities.
There are still places in the world that have the same view that we hold. That people are innocent until proven guilty and that governments are run for the benefits of people, not to control or dominate them. So the question we should be asking ourselves is what countries can we operate in where they share our values of respected privacy?
First Global Credit client accounts are currently held in Charlestown, Nevis and Belize. The server infrastructure is located in Switzerland, with technical service and support managed in the UK. No customer details are held in the UK or on UK servers and employees of the UK Company have no access to detailed customer records. This protects our customers from a blanket request for information by the UK or US authorities.
These policies make it possible for us to protect our customers and meet the legal requirements of a financial service company.