Buying and selling property is widely acknowledged as a high-risk area for money laundering.
Large sums of money can be ‘cleaned’ in a single transaction, with fraudsters buying and selling a property.
It is why individual Estate Agencies need to register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for Anti-Money Laundering compliance (AML). In June 2017, the anti-money laundering regulations were amended to make them more robust.
Improving the recognition and deterrence of money laundering, and preventing the funding of terrorist activities by performing thorough Estate Agents Anti-Money Laundering Checks remain a priority.
Estate Agents are a prime target for money laundering and financial crime. Not to mention a prime target for HMRC when it comes to spotting checks and fines for AML non-compliance.
Whether your an Estate Agency Group — like — or an independent agent, you are legally obligated to appoint an MLRO and be registered with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for Anti-Money Laundering Compliance.
If you are already registered with HMRC but are worried that you aren’t complying with the regulations, then we can help.
It is vital that you demonstrate satisfactory customer due diligence (CDD) on all properties bought and sold, but it’s vital that your process doesn’t slow down the sale chain. You may think that asking for documentary evidence in paper form is the simplest and easiest way. But, we’re sorry to say, this isn’t the case.
It’s not only non-compliant, but it can also cost you more, not to mention any reputational damage following a fine.
Regulators are imposing significant financial penalties and even prison terms for Estate Agents who are unable to prove they have adequate AML controls in place.
In an age of ID and document fraud, where the quality of is becoming extremely convincing, and harder to spot a fake — clients aren’t willing to hand over important documents and forms of ID.
As a result of all this, Credas has been developed to help Estate Agents verify an individual using secure digital tools, that provides an essential audit trail, that can be produced as proof that you have carried out the required checks.
Credas employs best practice solutions, with access to multiple data sources, to provide the most extensive results on the market.
— A Beneficial Owner
— A Politically Exposed Person (PEP) – Domestically or Internationally
— Presenting a Stolen Passport
— Listed on CIFAS for known Identity and Impersonation Fraud
— Subject to HM Treasury Sanctions
— Known as Deceased
— Subject to CCJs or Personal Insolvencies
Credas guarantees to save you time and money, as it provides a clear ‘pass’ or ‘flag’ decision – in real-time, direct to your portal. For buyers, it also reduces the risk and cost of sending important original ID documents by post.
When you choose a Credas check, you also capture and verify paper documents, building further confidence in the ID check. It will also show you their date of birth if it appears in the data.
It’s often the case that when the regulators impose fines, it’s not because the necessary checks haven’t been carried out, but because the estate agent cannot prove it.
Credas automatically produces an AML Report, which is available as a downloadable PDF at the click of a button from within your portal.
All data is stored in our secure cloud environment, so you can store this report and provide a full audit trail of the input and returned data if the HMRC were to come knocking. Both Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and The National Association of Estate Agents recognise that electronic AML verification ios can be used, but they do not recommend or endorse any product or supplier.
To book a one-to-one demo of our Estate Agency Anti-Money Laundering solution, or Get Started with Credas, please click below.
Estate agencies and the property sector are recognised as one of the key targets of financial organised crime such as money laundering and terrorist financing. That’s why every estate agency is required to comply with the money laundering regulations established by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in 2017.
The requirements we have today for Estate Agents to comply with AML were introduced by the 4th Anti-Money Laundering directive, an amendment to the main legislation which will soon be followed by the 5th directive.
If you’re a business that carries out work defined as ‘estate agency activity’, you must register with the HMRC. Businesses that fall under this category are as follows:
However, simply registering does not ensure that you are complying with strict regulations. In fact, organisations in the property section are often subject to supervisory visits from Trading Standards who ensure enhanced due diligence (conducting PEPs and sanctions checks) are in place, no matter how thorough your compliance process is.
When HMRC took over from OFT, they significantly increased the importance of AML regulations and Sanction & PEP compliance. As a result, risk assessments are now a requirement under the new regulations and estate agents should conduct a risk assessment on each client to determine the level of due diligence required i.e. standard or enhanced.
In addition to helping them demonstrate compliance with AML regulations, AML software for estate agents is also a cost effective and hassle-free way to manage operational risk. Implementing electronic AML checks is also a great way to make the whole process of complying with AML regulations less irksome for staff.
AML software helps estate agents and letting agents protect themselves against a number of business risks related to deals where large sums of money are exchanged, such as being involved in a fraudulent property sale that could bepart of a money laundering scheme. Whatever the case, due diligence in the form of thorough online checks can help minimise such risks to your company.
Complying with Anti-Money Laundering regulations and counter terrorist financing legislation is made easier for both Estate Agents and buyers with quick and easy online AML checks which take care of all the customer due diligence checks you for you.
Designed specifically to prove that the person is who they say they are by using facial recognition technology and authenticating documentation, Anti-Money Laundering Software for Estate Agents conducts quick and easy people checks, saving companies in the property sector time and effort, as well as money on potential fines which might occur if they fail to comply with AML regulations.
As part of the wider due diligence process, the AML software also conducts wider data checks to further strengthen the due diligence profile an Estate Agent can build on a client. By identifying proof of funds, agencies can detect suspicious activity and submit SARs (Suspicious Activity Reports).
According to HMRC legislation, all estate agents based in the UK must provide evidence that they are complying with the regulations, even if there are helping clients sell or buy properties overseas. Simply put, no matter what your agency specialises in, you need a due diligence framework to avoid penalties.
As experts in the field of electronic verification, we can help you integrate AML checks into your current operations. With our innovative Anti-Money Laundering Software Estate Agents can carry out thorough customer due diligence (CDD), improving the process speed and allowing you to list properties quicker, whilst carrying out the checks enforced by the new regulations.
The user-friendly Credas portal and mobile app take ID verification a step further than the traditional paper documents, saving buyers and sellers the time and effort required to provide a physical copy of their identifications. The advanced technology also performs better in spotting fakes than most estate agent employees would in today’s climate of incredibly convincing fraudulent documentation.
With significant fines, reputational damage or even potential prison terms on the line for companies in the property sector who fail to detect suspicious activity, many estate agents are turning to enhanced due diligence such as electronic AML checks in an effort to ensure they have solid evidence of complying with the regulations.
Credas provides a cost effective ID verification solution that helps estate agents carry out AML checks in real time and verify the documents provided match the individual. Using next-generation facial recognition technology, companies can detect suspicious activity and prevent fraudulent property sales used for money laundering and terrorist financing.
Accessing multiple data sources, our AML software for Estate Agents performs identity checks with industry leading accuracy. In addition to detecting fraudulent ID documents, our technology can also help you determine whether someone is a Politically Exposed Person (PEPs), domestically or internationally, a subject of global financial sanctions or Known as Deceased.
On top of ensuring estate agents are complying with the regulations, the Credas technology also improves customer experience by speeding up the verification process with AML checks that can be performed anywhere, anytime and take seconds instead of days. Using our web portal or mobile app also gives clients the peace of mind that their important identification documents won’t get lost in the mail, as well as saving them money on postage or having to travel to an office to provide proof of ID.
Often companies in the property sector fail to prove their compliance with AML regulations not because they haven’t carried out the required AML checks, but rather because they lack an audit trail that provides evidence of the process. The Credas Anti-Money Laundering Software for Estate Agents stores all client data securely on the cloud so businesses can access historic information easily and prove that they are complying with the regulations.