Belfast Telegraph

Three-year-old royal 'on banks anti-crime list'

A three-year-old member of the Royal Family has been included on a list the world's biggest banks use to identify terrorists and potential money launderers, according to reports.

The World-Check list also includes thousands of people just because they are related to minor public figures, according to analysis by The Times.

The database contains details about people and organisations suspected of being involved in terrorism, organised crime and money laundering, as part of efforts to combat financial crime.

Access is supposed to be restricted under European privacy laws, but a copy was leaked online this summer which showed it had grown to include more than two million records.

The Times has now released analysis of this copy.

This is said to include the listing of Maud Windsor, the daughter of Lord Freddie Windsor and the actress Sophie Winkleman, who was just nine months old when she was listed on the database.

Ms Windsor is 42nd in line to the throne, with Lord Freddie the only son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

Those on the World-Check list can face extra scrutiny from banks or even have applications for bank accounts and mortgages rejected.

This mid-2014 version of the database contains some 2.2 million records and is used by 49 of the world's 50 largest banks, along with 300 government and intelligence agencies.

The leaked copy also contains hundreds of people based partly on unverified blog posts and extremist websites, according to The Times.

Sir Neil Cossons, a historian and the former chairman of English Heritage, is another said to appear on the list.

He told the newspaper: "I've never been involved in any party political activities nor in money laundering.

"I am most concerned to have been identified in any capacity on World-Check."

Thomson Reuters, the media company which maintains World-Check, does not tell people they are on the list, while banks have no obligation to inform customers of why they have been refused services.

David Crundwell, global head of corporate affairs at Thomson Reuters, said World-Check was just one of several services where it aggregated financial crime data from the public domain.

He added: "World-Check also collates law enforcement, regulatory enforcement and other publicly available information from reputable sources in order to help clients comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulations.

"Customers can then use this data to follow their own regulatory compliance policies and procedures.

"Data protection laws and regulations governing World-Check prevent us from discussing any specific individual profile.

"World-Check has a clear privacy statement available on its website which also sets out how any individual can contact us if they believe any of the information held is inaccurate, and we would urge them to do so."

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