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AML checks - REFER result explained


How does an AML check work?

The input details for an AML check are matched against various UK databases and return a PASS when a match of that person’s details can be found to those databases. Anything like a recent move, someone submitting their work rather than home address, or a nickname used instead of full name (Jenny vs Jenifer as example) could cause an individual to receive a REFER result.


What to do with REFER results

If you have received a REFER result on an AML check you can investigate by looking at the AML report. Below are the most common reasons for receiving a REFER result:


  1. Incorrect input data. Check the below information has been correctly entered with no spelling mistakes or nicknames used.

  2. First name

  3. Last name

  4. Address

  5. Date of birth

  6. Middle name inclusion. Check a person's middle name is not contained within the first or last name fields.

  7. Has the person recently moved address? If so, their details have likely not been updated across the data sources on which checks are carried out.


It may also not always be possible to get a PASS from an AML check if the person is not recorded on enough of the databases being checked. Normally this leads to some further due diligence being required, such as having a call with them and requesting a proof of address as an additional document to ensure their identity is valid.

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