chester

Chester 01244 405 555

Grosvenor Court
Foregate Street Chester
Cheshire CH1 1HG
DX: 19990 Chester

shrewsbury

Shrewsbury 01743 443043

Lakeside House
Oxon Business Park
Shrewsbury SY3 5HJ
DX: 148563 Shrewsbury 14

Greater Manchester 0333 241 6886

Kennedy House,
31 Stamford St,
Altrincham WA14 1ES

14th July, 2014

Money Laundering : How Estate Agents Can Manage the Risk


HMRC supervises estate agents under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007. Guidance was issued on 20 June 2014 as to how estate agents can minimise the risks and report suspicious activity.

The penalties for falling foul of the rules are severe including civil and criminal penalties.

Areas of particular concern when managing risk include the source of funds and passing off stolen property at auctions. Warning signs of suspicious activity include difficulties in checking the client’s identity, the use of cash and if the property value does not fit the client’s profile.

Existing customers can change their pattern of transactions which should be a warning. Knowing your customer is key to avoiding the traps money launderers set for professionals.

Firms must also have a reporting procedure which could ultimately lead to a suspicious activity report to the National Crime Agency under the Proceeds of Crime Act or the Terrorism Act. This is an area where you need to be very careful not to warn or “tip off” suspected money launderers as this is a criminal offence in itself.

It is a fact of life today that regulatory obligations regarding money laundering are becoming wider and wider. The full advice can be read here.



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