Federal regulation under the Bank Secrecy Act requires all financial institutions to identify and verify the identity of the Beneficial Owners of certain business customers, subject to exclusions, each time a new account is opened. In order to comply, the Merrimack collects this information from covered legal entities on a Beneficial Ownership Certification Form before an account is opened. The regulation also identifies account modifications, such as those for loans, as new accounts. We may also ask for a new certification when other events indicate a possible change in ownership.
For the purposes of this regulatory rule, a covered legal entity includes: a corporation, limited liability company, any other entity that is created by filing a public document with the Secretary of State or similar office, a general partnership, or any similar business entity formed in the United States or a foreign country. Legal entities excluded from this rule include: sole proprietorships, DBAs, unincorporated associations, personal trusts, or individuals opening accounts on their behalf.
Information collected on the Beneficial Ownership Certification Form includes the name, address, date of birth and social security number (or passport number or other similar information, in the case of foreign persons), and ownership percentage for the following individuals, the Beneficial Owners:
- Each individual that has 25 percent or more of the equity interest in the business; and
- One individual that has the authority to exercise control of the legal entity, such as a CEO, executive officer or treasurer.
We also require identification from each Beneficial Owner and Control Person, such as a driver’s license or passport. Beneficial Owners are not required to appear in person and a photocopy or electronic reproduction of an identification is acceptable.
The form must be certified by the person opening the account and this person is also required to provide his/her full name, title and date of birth. Other information may be requested as part of the Bank’s standard account opening and maintenance processes.
If your business frequently opens accounts and/or loans, please be prepared to provide this information each time you come in to establish a new account. Click here to view and print a copy of the Beneficial Owner Certification Form.