Suspicious Activity Reports – Call for Information

Wednesday 04 March 2015

As Estate Agents you have a legal obligation to submit a Suspicious Activity Report if you believe there are reasonable grounds to know or suspect that another person is engaged in money laundering. You must also seek the consent of the National Crime Agency before conducting a transaction or activity about which you have suspicions.

In the UK Anti-Corruption Plan, published on 18 December 2014, the Government committed to carrying out a review of the suspicious activity reports (SARs) regime. The purpose of this review is to develop ways of better identifying money laundering and preventing the financing of terrorism.

The Home Office have therefore launched a Call for Information and we’d like as many of our members as possible to take part. The closing date for responses is 25 March.

The Call for Information is seeking views from professionals across our industry on the ways in which the suspicious activity reports (SARs) regime could be improved, to develop ways of better identifying money laundering and preventing terrorist financing, to streamline the reporting process, and to prevent the abuse of the UK financial system by criminals and terrorists.

You might like to provide feedback on any number of aspects, including:

  • What are the current difficulties that you face in identifying and tackling money laundering and terrorist financing?

  • Should there be changes to the way that information is shared both within the regulated sector, and between the regulated sector, regulators and law enforcement agencies?

  • What do you see as the key difficulties in reporting suspicious activity?

  • Is the right sort of information being collected? Should the form on which SARs are made be more structured, and if so, what fields would be helpful?

If you’d like to reduce the burden in complying with your reporting obligations, this is your chance to have your say and tell them how you’d like to see the current regime change.

Click here to view the full Call for Information document and for details of how to respond.