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Crack down on AML with “Flag it Up”

1st November 2018

The government have moved to crack down on Money Laundering in the UK with a new campaign focusing on the accountancy, legal and property sectors.

Flag it Up” has been launched with a stark warning to estate agents about their “legal and moral” responsibility to play their part in the UK’s anti-money laundering regime.

It is estimated that £100bn is laundered through the UK every year; which includes funds obtained through illegal activity, whether that be drugs, fraud or organised crime etc.

Where estate agents suspect money laundering they must submit a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) to the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The campaign comes following the publication of updated figures showing just 0.7% of SARs submitted to the NCA are from estate agents; compared to 83% by banks.

In an analysis of the SARs submitted by estate agents, the National risk assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing 2017 identified:

‘27% highlighted the presence of companies and trusts in property transactions, 36% highlighted attempted use of professional intermediaries and 17% reported high cash payments.

The key typologies identified from SARs were unusual transactions relating to the same property in rapid succession (often involving the use of cash or third party intermediaries), and the use of companies or overseas trusts to conceal property ownership’

“Flag it Up” reminds agents of their responsibilities under the Money Laundering regulations and provides some common themes to look out for when it comes to identifying the risk of money laundering.

On a practical level you must have an Anti-Money Laundering Policy in place, which includes a risk assessment that outlines how you complete your Customer Due Diligence, what circumstances you would consider to be high risk, and how you would deal with those situations.

 

 

Compliance in a Box from Landmark is a simple pay-as-you-go toolkit to help agents fulfil their AML obligations. From one account you can undertake and evidence:

  • Verification of buyers and sellers within a minute inc PEPs and those on sanctions lists
  • Enhanced due diligence where your risk assessment identifies it is needed
  • Confirmation of home owners and boundaries
  • Identification of beneficial owners in cases where businesses are involved
  • Support with verifying foreign national both in the UK and abroad

For more information about undertaking and evidencing your compliance with the Money Laundering Regulation 2017, sign up below or please contact Compliance in a Box on 01524 220013

Find out more

 

Verification

 

 

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