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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Customer information orders
Section 397: Customer information orders

546.A customer information order would require all (or a targeted sample of) banks and other financial institutions to provide details of any accounts held by the person who is the subject of a confiscation or money laundering investigation. The order can also apply to persons who appear to hold a property which is subject to a civil recovery investigation. Under subsection (1) an application for a customer information will be made to the sheriff court by the appropriate person as defined in section 412. As with disclosure orders, a person may require the person serving the order to demonstrate that they have the authority they claim. Again, it is envisaged that a copy of the original customer information order will be provided.

Section 398: Meaning of customer information

547.Section 398 sets out the definition of “customer information” for individuals and for companies and partnerships. Subsections (2)(f) and (3)(i) require financial institutions to produce evidence of identity obtained in compliance with the relevant existing legislation, currently the Money Laundering Regulations 1993 [SI 1993 No.1933]. By virtue of section 459(6), any order made by the Scottish Ministers under subsection (4) to extend the meaning of “customer information” will have to be laid before and approved by a resolution of the Scottish Parliament.

Section 400: Offences

548.As with the disclosure order, there are two offences connected with customer information orders. As the sanctions are directed at non-compliant institutions rather than an individual they are solely financial. The maximum penalties are a level 5 fine (currently £5000) for non-compliance and an unlimited fine for knowingly or recklessly making a false or misleading statement.

Section 401: Statements

549.Like the disclosure order, the customer information order requires an institution to divulge information. Section 401 sets out the standard conditions on the use of such information to prevent information obtained under compulsion from being used against the financial institution in criminal proceedings against it (subject to certain limited exceptions) (see section 394).

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