Part of the Thomson Reuters Risk Management Solutions suite, the World-Check database of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) and heightened risk individuals and organisations is used around the world to help to identify and manage financial, regulatory and reputational risk.
The creation of the database was in response to legislation aimed at reducing the incidence of financial crimes. To begin with, World-Check’s intelligence was used by banks and financial institutions as a comprehensive solution for assessing, managing and remediating risk. However, as legislation has become increasingly complex and its reach has become increasingly global, the demand for such intelligence has grown beyond the financial sector to include organisations from all sectors.
World-Check’s research team monitors emerging risks in more than 60 languages, covering over 240 countries and territories worldwide. All information used is in the public domain and research analysts profile individuals and entities using open-source research methodology (OSINT) while adhering to strict protocol such as that laid down by the Data Protection Act (UK).
In 2011, World-Check received independent assurance under the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE 3000) for the internal processes and controls that govern its global sanctions platform and dataset.
A dedicated team of research analysts correlates sanction and embargo lists from around the world, including lists such as OFAC, UK HMT, EU, OSFI, FATF and the Australian DFAT. Regulatory and enforcement lists are monitored as well as lists of debarred and banned parties.
Specific areas of interest, such as terrorism, organised crime and the Middle East, are covered by specialist research teams.
Registered in London, World-Check was founded in 2000 by David Leppan to address the risk mitigation requirements of the Swiss banking community. During 2008, World-Check launched Country-Check, an index that ranks over 240 countries and territories worldwide in terms of risk. A statistical algorithm is used to aggregate various information sources across political, financial and criminal factors and this quantifies risk attached to customers and transactions according to their country of origin. Based on statistics and not perception, Country-Check provides practical intelligence for informed decision-making, useful for mergers and acquisitions, security of supply chain, cross border expansion and exploration, and production.
In 2009 World-Check increased its offering by acquiring IntegraScreen, a provider of enhanced due diligence reporting services. IntegraScreen reports are used when a detailed background check on any entity or individual is required, and research can be carried out no matter where the location.
In a reddit post, a user declared that he had acquired a copy of the World-Check database with information up to 2014. This leak online apparently was possible due to an incomplete assessment of the security, and was downloaded through the website Shodan, a search engine that lets the user find specific types of computers connected to the internet using a variety of filters, raising questions about the allegedly privacy and security of the service.
In 2017, World-Check admitted that the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) should never have been placed on their database at all and, specifically, should not have been associated with “terrorism”, stressing that there were no grounds to suggest that PSC were either associated with terrorism related activity or that the organisation presented any kind of financial risk. The PSC and World-Check have reached an agreement to address the harm done to the reputation of the PSC and its chair, Mr. Hugh Lanning, and to resolve the matters between them arising from that profile.