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World-Check is a database of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) and heightened risk individuals and organisations, used around the world to help to identify and manage financial, regulatory and reputational risk. World Check formed part of the Thomson Reuters Risk Management Solutions suite before being transferred to Refinitiv after a merger deal with The Blackstone Group in October 2018.[1]

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.

Research coverage[edit]

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.

About World-Check[edit]

Registered in London, World-Check was founded in 2000 by David Leppan to address the risk mitigation requirements of the Swiss banking community. Uptime iTechnology firm founded by Nikolaus Kimla were the developers of World-Check and it was known then as a risk intelligence platform but was later sold to Thomson Reuters.[2]

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[3], 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.

Partnerships and Integrations[edit]

World-Check is used by several financial firms to meet due diligence and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) compliance needs:

  • Lloyd's of London has used World-Check for its due diligence and KYC compliance needs since 2008[4].
  • Maecenas, a blockchain-based art marketplace, uses World-Check to mitigate the risk of financial crime and meet due diligence requirements[5].
  • SAI Global, a risk management, standards compliance and information business, uses World-Check as a third-party risk management partner[6].
  • Aravo Solutions, a third-party risk management services company, has collaborated on a joint offering with World-Check to retrieve company information directly[7].
  • The World-Check Customer Risk Screener is an application available on the Salesforce AppExchange, which allows Salesforce users to access World-Check's risk intelligence database to reveal risks associated with customers, leads or accounts[8].

Leak of Database and Security Compromises[edit]

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 was possible due to an incomplete assessment of the security, and was downloaded through the website Shodan, a search engine that lets users find specific types of computers connected to the internet using a variety of filters.[9]

False claims[edit]


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.[10]

Finsbury Park Mosque[edit]

World-Check agreed to pay compensation and apologise to Finsbury Park Mosque in 2017 after a false claim that it had a current association with terrorism.[11]

Maajid Nawaz[edit]

Quilliam founder Maajid Nawaz was found to have been listed as a terrorist in World-Check following an investigation by Vice[12]. Thomson Reuters subsequently removed his name from the list, apologised and paid an undisclosed amount in damages as part of the settlement following the threat of a lawsuit by Nawaz[13][14].


In 2011, Thomson Reuters acquired World-Check as a key component of their Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC) unit.[15]. In October 2018, Thomson Reuters closed a deal with The Blackstone Group, and as a result of this merger World-Check is now owned by the new company, Refinitiv[16].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1], Thomson Reuters closes deal with Blackstone, rebrands as Refinitiv - The TRADE
  2. ^ "Sales Trends that you need to know about in 2019". 9 January 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  3. ^ [2], World-Check acquires IntegraScreen | Spectrum Equity
  4. ^ [3], Lloyd's selects World-Check for due diligence and KYC compliance
  5. ^ [4], Maecenas Partners with Thomson Reuters to Mitigate Financial Crime Risk
  6. ^ [5], Third-Party Risk Management and Thomson Reuters World-Check | SAI Global
  7. ^ [6], Third-Party Risk & Performance Partners | Aravo
  8. ^ [7], World-Check Customer Risk Screener - Thomson Reuters - AppExchange
  9. ^ "Terrorism Blacklist: I have a copy. Should it be shared? • r/privacy". reddit.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Van attack shatters calm at mosque with a troubled history". Financial Times. 20 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  12. ^ [8]
  13. ^ [9]
  14. ^ [10]
  15. ^ "English". Thomson Reuters.
  16. ^ [11], Thomson Reuters closes deal with Blackstone, rebrands as Refinitiv - The TRADE

External links[edit]