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News

Background checking service using watch lists.

MicroBilt : 30 April, 2008  (New Product)
MicroBilt offers a free watch list checks as part of its credit checking service to enable US companies to comply with Federal regulations.
MicroBilt is helping lenders and other businesses stay in compliance with federal regulations and avoid steep penalties by providing extensive anti-terrorist "watch list" searches for free as part of its standard credit and identity reporting. As part of a major initiative to keep SMEs aware of and in compliance with federal regulations surrounding identity verification, MicroBilt screens more than 60 critical "watch lists" including those maintained and mandated by the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

As homeland security issues continue to be a top national priority, government agencies are requiring businesses to be more thorough in screening the backgrounds of prospective students, customers and renters. MicroBilt's extensive screenings of OFAC databases and other watch lists help ensure that an applicant isn't a known or suspected threat to national security before a company accepts cash payments, extends credit, hires, enrolls or rents to a prospective applicant.

"For smaller businesses in particular, just keeping up with federal mandates such as OFAC regulations, and with what to do if a search produces a match is a major challenge," said Walt Wojciechowski, CEO of MicroBilt. "Along with the obvious risks of doing business with the wrong people, the legal penalties associated with not performing these searches can also be devastating. We're trying to help customers do more business with less risk and less confusion without having to become experts on federal regulations."

In the wake of September 11th, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of the Treasury has administered and enforced economic and trade sanctions against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities associated with weapons of mass destruction. OFAC regulations require businesses to reference prospective customers against 11 main lists to keep from unwittingly becoming involved in terrorist money laundering and other criminal activities.

MicroBilt's Watch List screenings include and go beyond basic OFAC requirements to include 63 different lists from 35 sources including FBI and Interpol most wanted lists at no cost when customers conduct standard searches. By automatically providing comprehensive screening, MicroBilt helps financial institutions, auto dealers, car rental companies, jewelers and other businesses stay in compliance without having to determine for themselves when and what they should be checking.

Failing to comply with OFAC requirements carries penalties including criminal charges, financial penalties of up to $100K and potential imprisonment, but the rules on what to do if a search produces a match are less clear. MicroBilt is working to develop guidelines and also continuing to expand its own watch list coverage.
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