St. Kitts and Nevis’ CBI programme recognized for its strong due diligence procedures
(Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme recently received top scores for its comprehensive due diligence procedures in the latest CBI Index, conducted by Professional Wealth Management (PWM), a publication from the Financial Times.
The CBI Index looked at 12 countries that offer CBI programmes and critically evaluated their performance and appeal across seven indicators relevant to an applicant’s decision-making process.
The seven indicators used to rate the countries’ programmes are freedom of movement, standard of living, minimum investment outlay, mandatory travel or residence, ease of processing, citizenship timeline, and due diligence.
Along with due diligence, St. Kitts and Nevis’ programme also returned scores of perfect 10s in the areas of mandatory travel or residence, citizenship timeline and ease of processing.
Speaking with the Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), Mr. Les Khan, said St. Kitts and Nevis’ comprehensive due diligence procedures involve a four-tier vetting process that ensures no individual of ill-repute is accepted into the Federation’s programme.
“The first would be at the level of the agent who is interacting with the client. That person will have their anti-money laundering and KYC (Know your customer) practices and they would ensure that the person is of good character and does not have any negative records. After that comes the service provider and the service provider is also responsible for ensuring that they know who their clients are. Earlier in the year, we announced that all service providers were to submit their due diligence process with any application and every application. That means that the service provider is doing their due diligence and getting some information on the client before the file is submitted, so there is that screening that goes on at that level,” Mr. Khan explained.
Once the file is accepted by the unit, it will then be sent to an international due diligence provider.
“This due diligence that is conducted at this level is what I would like to say is a deeper dive,” the CIU official stated. “It will involve looking at all media results; it would involve looking at any sanction list and also any financial statements; we would review those financial statements and try to confirm that what the person has said on their application form is what can be supported through our due diligence process. The fourth level would be at the point where we send out these names to do due diligence, we also send them out to international law enforcement and at this level, they would be looking through the various Interpol databases, they would be looking at sanction lists also, they would be checking to see if they are on any watch list for let’s say anti-money laundering, fraud and also if there is any potential security risks, in other words, are they linked to terrorist activities, terrorist financing and things of that nature.”
Mr. Khan noted that all these measures ensure that St. Kitts and Nevis has “one of the most robust due diligence processes that cover all different angles.”