What is a Politically Exposed Person (PEP)?

While registering you may notice a field that asks you to identify if you are a Politically Exposed Person (“PEP”). If you’re not sure what this means, we’ve unpacked this for you below. 

A PEP is an individual who holds a prominent public position or role in a government body or international organisation, either in Australia or overseas. Immediate family members and/or close business associates of these individuals are also considered PEPs.

Examples of PEPs are: 

  • a Head of State or head of a country or government; or
  • a government minister or equivalent senior politician; or
  • a senior government official; or
  • a Judge of the High Court of Australia, the Federal Court of Australia or a Supreme Court of a State or Territory, or a Judge of a court of equivalent seniority in a foreign country or international organisation; or
  • a governor of a central bank or any other position that has comparable influence on the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia; or
  • a senior foreign representative, ambassador, or high commissioner; or
  • a high-ranking member of the armed forces; or
  • a board chair, chief executive, or chief financial officer of, or any other position that has comparable influence in, any State enterprise or international organisation.

You will also be considered a PEP if you are an immediate family member or a close business associate of the individuals mentioned in the list above.

Immediate family members are spouses, life partners, children (including people who are married to or life partners of your children) and parents.

A business associate of a PEP is someone who has joint beneficial ownership of a legal entity with a PEP or sole beneficial ownership of a legal entity for the benefit of a PEP.

PEPs are further classified into three categories, namely:

  • Domestic PEPs - a PEP of an Australian government body; 
  • Foreign PEPs - a PEP of a government body of a foreign country; and 
  • International organisation PEPs – a PEP of an international organisation which is an organisation created by an agreement between countries and is considered an international treaty for example, the United Nations.

This means that if you are a PEP in Australian you would be a domestic PEP, if you are a PEP of a foreign country, you would be a foreign PEP and if you are a PEP of an international organisation PEP, you would be an international organisation PEP.

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