Anti Money Laundering Regulations

Anti Money Laundering

On 26 June 2017 The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (more commonly referred to as the Money Laundering Regulations 2017) came into force in the UK. These regulations supersede the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and subsequent amendments.

These regulations affect estate agent businesses which includes property auctioneers or high value dealers.

A high value dealer is a business (firm or sole trader, who or whose employees) that deal in goods or services and makes or accepts cash payments over the value of €10,000 (or its equivalent in another currency) whether that is in a single payment or a series of payments.

You won’t need to register if you deal in goods over the value of €10,000 but only accept payments via credit cards, debit cards, or cheque.

The money laundering regulations are designed to reduce the social and economic impact of organised crime and impede the transfer of money to support funding for terrorist organisations in the UK and around the globe. The regulations aim to ensure that companies have sufficient information to know exactly who their customers are.

HM Revenue and Customs

Under the Regulations, it’s an offence to trade as an estate agent (which includes property auctioneers) or a high value dealer unless you’re registered with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for anti-money laundering supervision. 

If you are unsure if you need register read HMRC’s guide "Money Laundering Regulations: who needs to register" to check.

To register with HMRC for anti-money laundering supervision their registration guide for estate agency businesses or for high value dealers. They also provide detailed guidance to help you meet your obligations including customer due diligence and record keeping

Money Laundering Reporting Officer

There is a requirement under the Regulations to have a nominated person within your business to act as a Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) and a Deputy, where applicable. Alongside this, the new legislation requires a senior member of the management team to be appointed as being responsible for compliance with the regulations.

To make it easier for you to keep up-to-date with all the important legislation updates and any additional useful information, we are collecting details across our membership about who the MLRO is within your business. Complete the form below to give us details of your MLRO.

Download the form

We believe that alongside guidance on filling in a suspicious activity report, guidance from HMRC should include real life examples from estate agents who have given reports to the National Crime Agency (NCA), to illustrate the process and explain the steps required. This would help to better explain to staff and MLROs about how long the process can take and what the outcomes can be.

Making Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs)

You should have policies in place and all staff should be trained to be able to complete your customer due diligence.

If any staff know or suspect a potential customer is engaged in money laundering they must raise an internal report to your MLRO. Basic examples of suspicious activity include; difficulty getting paperwork off the customer to complete due diligence checks, fake or incomplete paperwork, it difficultly establishing the beneficial owner, requests to pay via instalments in attempt to bring payments under the thresholds.

The MLRO will need to assess whether there are grounds to pass to report onto the National Crime Agency (NCA). The NCA will then determine whether you can proceed with the transaction.

We're working with the NCA to educate members about when a Suspicious Activity Report is necessary and the consequences for failing to do so.

How to report SARs to the NCA

For advice about money laundering and how to report suspicious transactions, you can contact HMRC. If HMRC needs to contact you about anything confidential they’ll reply by phone or post.

Support for Auctioneers

HMRC regularly run webinars explaining what is expected of estate agents in relation to anti money laundering, check for upcoming dates or watch the previous webinar here.

We're also working with a cutting-edge US based Technology Company, that is part-owned by the National Association of Realtors, to develop an app which will support members with their anti-money laundering duties. For more information read the press release

For Property Auctioneers 

Guidance and forms

As part of our commitment to ensuring our members adhere to the highest standards, we have produced an AML & CTF Questionnaire which we would be grateful if all Principal, Partner or Director member firms could complete and return to us.

Our Identity Verification Form is designed for you to collect information regarding a property or land transaction. HMRC signpost agents to Home Office guidance on examining identity documents for help with spotting forgeries and altered documents.

Masterclasses

NAEA Propertymark are running Masterclasses across the country to ensure that members understand their obligations under The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017.

The Masterclasses feature top speakers and cover all the changes in legislation and current trends affecting the property industry.

Find a Masterclass

Training

Financial Crime Update
Foundation course / 4 Hours CPD

A course for Money Laundering Reporting Officers (MLROs) or anyone interested in finding out more about the responsibilities of property professionals in respect of financial crime. The course covers the latest developments such as Money Laundering Regulations 2017 and the Bribery Act

Find available course dates