When opening a new account with WEX, you may be asked to provide some additional information about your business.
Effective May 11, 2018, all financial institutions — including WEX Bank — are required to collect and verify information about the ownership of legal entity customers.
This means that any time an account is opened for a legal entity, we will collect and verify identifying information for the following individuals:
- Beneficial owners, or anyone who owns (directly or indirectly) 25% or more of the business.
- A person with control, or someone with significant responsibility for managing the business — for example, an executive officer or senior manager.
The requested information will include name, address, date of birth, Social Security number (or passport number), and other info that will help identify these individuals.
Why did the government pass these rules?
To help fight financial crime. Legal entities can be abused to disguise involvement in terrorist financing, money laundering, tax evasion, corruption, fraud, and other financial crimes. Requiring the disclosure of key individuals who ultimately own or control a legal entity — i.e., the beneficial owners — helps law enforcement investigate and prosecute these crimes.
What businesses are affected?
The following legal entities will have to provide this information when opening a new account: Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships, and any other similar business entities formed in the U.S. or a foreign country.
How will this information be collected?
It’s our goal to make your application process as efficient as possible. If you’re applying online, you’ll be able to save your progress and return to enter the beneficial ownership info, if needed. Customers can also submit this information via fax, mail, or by talking to a WEX representative.
Please note that this requirement only affects new accounts opened after May 11, 2018, or existing customers who go through ownership changes after May 11, 2018.
Should I be concerned about privacy?
We understand that this information is personal and sensitive — however, financial institutions have to obtain it in order to comply with the law. WEX will treat any information we collect with the utmost care, storing it securely and handling it with the same high standard of privacy we’ve always maintained.
What if I still have questions?
To learn more about this new requirement, including a list of exempt legal entities, please visit our full Beneficial Ownership FAQ.