Face up to it

Flick back through past copies of The Negotiator and you’ll discover that Anti-Money Laundering (AML) is a recurring theme. And so it should be. It’s an area of property compliance that never stands still, with breaches resulting in eye watering fines (£23 million is one of the latest) and even imprisonment. This year is completely unique for both sales and letting agents, so a good old-fashioned AML SWOT analysis is due.

Where to start. Property is an increasingly attractive way of laundering money. In fact, the latest UK National Risk Assessment (published in December 2020) raised the money laundering risk score for the property sector overall from ‘medium’ to ‘high’ – highlighting the attractiveness of bricks and mortar as a fraudulent facade.

The risk score for estate agency businesses (EABs) has been raised from ‘low’ to ‘medium’ and the report also identified a risk score of ‘medium’ for AML’s newcomer, letting agency businesses (LABs),” comments Nick Sharp, Deputy Director of Economic Crime, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC. The latter’s debut probably reflects the Home Office’s observation of ‘high levels of anonymity within the lettings sector’.

Read the full article on The Negotiator, with comments from FCS Managing Director, Jerry Walters.