Challenges names from different cultures can present in the CDD process
Challenges names from different cultures can present in the CDD process

The following Practice Compliance guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Challenges names from different cultures can present in the CDD process
  • Korean names
  • Hispanic names
  • Islamic names
  • Russian names
  • What can you take from this?

This Practice Note details the challenges that names from different cultures can present to compliance teams when it comes to the customer/client due diligence (CDD) process. It is produced in conjunction with Dr Leonard Shaefer, a name-processing expert with Onomastic Resources LLC.

Compliance professionals make decisions every day that can have important consequences for their organisations.

An effective, accurate compliance process requires command of a wide variety of complex, diverse information.

Getting names right is a vital, crucial part of the job description for those working in the anti-money laundering (AML) area, to the extent that it probably needs to be considered a core competency.

Although there are many forms of automation, IT tools and specialised algorithms that can help to process names, you can't avoid the need for human interpretation.

An improved understanding of the way names work in certain key cultures can have a significant impact both in terms of productivity and for risk-containment.

Improving understanding and developing basic skills for dealing with unfamiliar personal names begins with understanding how they work.

The following excerpts from Onomastic Resources Whitepaper, Improved OFAC Name Screening (December 2015), explain the challenges presented by:

  1. Korean

  2. Hispanic

  3. Islamic, and

  4. Russian


Korean names

According to the 2010 US Census, there are some 1.7 million US residents who identify themselves as being principally of Korean descent. Many large cities across the world have sizeable Korean communities, and these communities generate a significant amount of commercial activity. For these reasons and more, it is reasonable to expect that Korean names will appear frequently and sometimes prominently in the customer lists, transaction detail and other large-scale data-stores of many organisations.

To the extent that native