Meet Helen Grindey – AML Consultant, FCS Compliance

In this interview, FCS PR Director, Alison Blease introduces you to FCS AML Consultant, Helen Grindey – AICA Cert (KYC/CDD).

Today I am joined by Helen Grindey, an AML Consultant with FCS Compliance.


I believe next month is your two-year anniversary of working for FCS.  Congratulations!  But let’s start at the beginning.  What did you do before joining FCS?

I’ve had quite a varied career but before having my children I worked in customer services/helpdesk environments – in both retail and software.  But once the children came along, I moved to a local senior school where I was responsible for carrying out risk assessments and ensuring that the school was government-compliant on all procedures – everything from school trips to extracurricular activities.

That sounds like a busy job.

It was really busy and carried quite a bit of responsibility with it.  I was there for 15 years and it’s where I met Caroline (Walters, Senior AML Consultant, FCS Compliance).

… And presumably how you ended up at FCS?

Yes!  Caroline knew me as both a work colleague and friend.  She could see that my skillset suited the business and that I’d fit into the team well.   And I have to say joining the business was the best decision ever!  I work alongside a fabulous team, who have incredible expertise and are supportive on a day-to-day basis.

Much of the work we do is complex and detailed, and having that collective knowledge base is vital.  We’re in touch with one another the whole time, solving queries, bouncing ideas around and generally making sure that we give the best service we possibly can to our clients.

It sounds like you’re using some of the skillsets from your previous job to this?

Yes definitely.  Attention to detail, as well as understanding the processes and regulations you need to go through to ensure you’re compliant are all skills I used in my previous role.

I have loved learning about the property market as this was new to me and it has been a steep learning curve.  But a very interesting one.  You never stop learning and I love that about this job.

I recently took and passed the anti-money laundering (AML) ICA (International Compliance Association) Certificate in CDD (Customer Due Diligence) and KYC (Know Your Customer).

Huge congratulations!  And I’m guessing you’re able to apply this learning in your day-to-day work?

That’s right.  At FCS I carry out CDD on behalf of our agents, whether this be for individuals or complex overseas companies & trusts.  I’m also responsible for pulling together policy and procedure documents which all agents need to be fully AML compliant.

We get lots of questions about trusts, but also wills and probate as well.

It’s a varied job and that’s what I like about it.  No two days are the same.  When you start your day you never know where it’s going to take you.

What are the common mistakes that your clients make?

Our clients are good at tracking down IDs and proof of address, but some forget that they need to carry out a risk assessment on each client and rate it.  This is one of the first things that HMRC look for when they are carrying out an inspection as well as your policy and procedure and internal risk assessment documents.

Businesses must risk assess their own business and review their policy and procedure documents each year.  It’s easy to forget this but it is a central part of being compliant. 

Thank you Helen, it was great to catch up and congratulations on your two-year anniversary when it comes next month. 

Interview conducted October 2023