Latest News

Understanding your AML obligations

14 February 2018

As the clamp down on anti-money laundering compliance continues, you should by now have addressed the legal requirements of the regulation. Read More...

The GDPR countdown has begun

12 February 2018

General Data Protection Regulation coming into force in May will mean fundamental changes in how businesses handle personal data - so if you don't already have a plan in place, now is the time to be thinking about one. Read More...

Scottish Government to consult on LBTT relief for first time buyers

12 February 2018

The Scottish Government have announced that they are to consult on Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) exemption for first time buyers on properties under £175,000. Read More...

OnTheMarket goes live on London stock exchange

09 February 2018

All eyes have been on OnTheMarket plc today as it finally launched on the London Stock Exchange. 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.