Latest News

Couple arrested in money laundering crackdown

24 September 2018

The National Crime Agency (NCA) arrested a ‘Politically Exposed Person’ from Pakistan and his wife last week, following allegations of money laundering corruption. Read More...

Are bats sucking the blood out of your sale?

21 September 2018

House sales are tricky enough, but what happens when there are bats living in the property you are selling? Here's what you need to know... Read More...

Funding boost for affordable housing

20 September 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May has called for an end to the stigma of social housing and offered a £2 billion handout to housing associations as part of and ambitious plan to provide tens of thousands of new affordable homes. Read More...

A fairer deal for leaseholders?

20 September 2018

The Law Commission unveiled its long-awaited consultation on leasehold reform this week, which is seeking views on how to save leaseholders time, stress and money during the enfranchisement process and how to reduce legal costs, prevent unnecessary disputes, and the impact reform may have. Read More...

 

AML update – guidance, Supervisory Review and webinar

Monday 31 July 2017

HMRC have set out new guidance (a further amendment to that previously published on 26 June 2017) on what estate agency businesses must do to minimise the risks of money laundering and how to report suspicious activity.

The changes include a variation to the previous guidance on undertaking Customer Due Diligence (CDD) checks on purchasers which estate agents now must undertake prior to the point at which a Memorandum of Sale is issued. If it is a sealed bid, then due diligence will need to be carried out on the maker of any bid before it can be opened. Sellers must be checked at the point the property is put on the market.

The changes also clarify what classes of person should be treated as Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), where additional or enhanced due diligence measures are needed to identify and verify the seller and buyer’s identity and source of funds. The new regime extends the definition of PEPs to include people holding public office in the UK, such as politicians, the judiciary and senior members of the armed forces as well as those of overseas countries - including their family members.

The new rules remove the automatic entitlement to apply Simplified Due Diligence measures for specific customers, estate agents will instead need to determine the level of risk posed by a customer prior to applying SDD – essentially on a case by case basis. The guidance sets out when it can apply, such as that enhanced due diligence does not apply or the buyer or seller is not resident outside the UK.

View the full guidance here.

Open Consultation - Anti-money laundering supervisory review

Part of the changes brought in under the Fourth Money Laundering Directive allow scope for self-regulatory, professional bodies to supervise estate agents. In order for this to happen a new Office for Professional Body AML Supervision (OBAS), hosted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has been set up to improve co-ordination and consistency across the number of professional body AML supervisors currently operating in the UK.

HM Treasury has opened a consultation on the operation and funding of OPBAS, which contains eight questions in total. Four of these call for information from estate agents relating to the time and cost currently associated with AML compliance, and ask whether firms anticipate those costs increasing.

If you would like to provide comments, please email NAEA Propertymark Policy and Campaigns Officer Tim Douglas, or you can respond directly to the consultation here.

Webinar – Suspicious Activity Reports

Businesses regulated by the Money Laundering Regulations must report activity that may be linked to money laundering or terrorist financing.

HM Revenue and Customs will be holding a joint free webinar with the National Crime Agency to help businesses covered by the Money Laundering Regulations 2017.

It will look at what the Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) regime is, your legal obligations, the life of a SAR, how to make a quality SAR and what happens to the reports you make. There will also be an opportunity to put your questions to the presenter.

The webinar will take place on Wednesday 9 August 2017 at 9:30am. Bookings will be taken on a first come, first served basis so you must register as places are limited.