KYC policy variations: Can we achieve industry standardization?

At present there is a lack of harmonized guidance on expectations for implementation of know your customer (KYC) anti-money laundering (AML) laws and regulations (collectively, KYC laws). Issues addressed by the KYC laws in countries around the world are generally consistent, but local expectations for implementation vary significantly. The absence of harmonization in guidance and expectations has led to multiple approaches and interpretations of KYC laws across the financial services industry. While a genuine desire for standardization exists, in reality variances in implementation between countries and, frequently, within a single country are significant – leading to a plethora of ongoing challenges.