The Government’s Flag It Up campaign has published an A to Z of AML (Anti-Money Laundering) for estate agents.
It aims to help agents understand the risks posed to them by money laundering and the red flags to look out for.
The new resource tool distils existing guidance for estate agents into a shorter, handy format.
The Government says that financial crimes such as money laundering may seem relatively “victimless”.
But it says the reality is that money laundering is a crime in itself, while the dirty money which it seeks to clean could well be the proceeds of devastating crimes such as human trafficking, modern slavery, drug trafficking, fraud or corruption.
Estate agents play a vital part in tackling these serious crimes and are a crucial line of defence against them, says the Government.
However, the evidence from the National Crime Agency suggests that not nearly enough are reporting suspicious activity.
Between April 2017 and last March, estate agents submitted just 710 suspicious activity reports – despite the UK losing an estimated £37bn each year through serious and organised crime, which money laundering helps to facilitate.
The Government’s Flag It Up campaign has been working with the legal and accountancy sectors for more than four years and last year expanded into the property sector with support from HMRC, which supervises estate agents under the money laundering regulations.
Estate agents could be prevented from trading or even face prosecution if they fail to comply with money laundering regulations. This could result in unlimited fines or a prison term of up to two years.
The A to Z of AML is available to download here: https://bit.ly/2tDZ8X0