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KPMG Assisting Organizations To Address Potential ‘Panama Papers’ Concerns

KPMG Assisting Organizations Address Panama Concerns

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KPMG LLP, the U.S. Audit, Tax and Advisory Firm, is helping organizations identify and address potential risks related to the recent release of the so-called “Panama Papers,” a file of more than 11 million records relating to information about alleged offshore shell companies reportedly leaked from a Panamanian law firm.

“While much remains uncertain about the Panama Papers leak, organizations should be proactive in understanding and managing all possible related risks,” said Teresa A. Pesce, Forensic Regulatory Enforcement and Compliance Network lead and Global head of Anti-Money Laundering for the KPMG network of firms.

KPMG can help organizations to manage their Panama Papers concerns through a multi-disciplinary approach, including:

  • Corporate Intelligence and Data & Analytics – Identifying exposures to the parties named in the Panama Papers lists, as well as identifying other third party entities and/or individuals associated with those on the list.
  • Investigative and Remediation Services – Understanding the extent of due diligence on hand or required due diligence to mitigate the risk of doing business with such parties and with collecting additional due diligence required, and assisting in understanding the transactions processed through any affected accounts.
  • Tax Implications – Understanding tax implications associated with the non-transparent structures.
  • Crisis Management Service – Managing potential reputational and other risk arising from doing business with unknown parties.
  • Go-Forward Assessments – Mitigating future risk.

Added Pesce, “It is critical that organizations have comprehensive and timely information about the Panama Papers lists and the data analysis to efficiently assess any potential exposure. In addition to assessing current risks, future risks need to be mitigated by enhancing Know Your Customer and Enhanced Due Diligence programs and by fortifying information protection policies and procedures.”


Panama Papers Background
According to press reports, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) is in the process of publishing over 11 million records from a Panamanian law firm that were leaked from an anonymous source. These records relate to information dating back four decades and involving alleged offshore shell companies.

A lack of transparency in such types of business structures can present risk to financial institutions and other companies who may not fully appreciate with whom they are doing business, or for whom they are processing transactions. Failure to “know your customer” can and has led financial institutions to regulatory scrutiny, enforcement activity and potential fines. Not understanding who the ultimate customer is can lead institutions to process transactions without the ability to understand whether the transactions have a legitimate purpose. Furthermore, institutions may be unwittingly processing transactions in funds ultimately owned by individuals on sanctions lists – those with whom they are prohibited from doing business by law.


KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (, is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s member firms have 174,000 professionals, including more than 9,000 partners, in 155 countries.


Michael Rudnick

© 2018 KPMG LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership and the U.S. member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

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