AML compliance amongst estate agents surges

There has been a sharp rise anti-money laundering checks carried out by estate agents, according to the latest findings from Credas Technologies,

During Q1 2024, there have been 409,265 AML checks, up 59% compared with 257,082 year-on-year, which is resulting from a greater understanding of money laundering regulations and the impact of heavy fines.

The amount of illicit funds laundered through the UK is estimated to be at least £88bn. Under UK Llw, estate agents are required to carry out AML checks in line with regulations and guidance set out by HMRC. These checks include identifying the source of funds used to purchase a property and conducting identity checks on their customers. If an estate agent is suspicious that their client is attempting to launder illicit funds, they must report this to the National Crime Agency.

Tom Barnett, CEO of Credas Technologies comments: “Over the last 12 months, the UK property market has bounced back with residential transactions in April 2024 reaching 79,590, 17% higher than April 2023, and 9% lower than March 2024.

“Estate agents can play a vital part in preventing money laundering by conducting thorough due diligence to both deter and identify suspicious activity. Both buyers and sellers can be involved in money laundering as a means of integrating and layering funds.

“To help estate agents meet their money laundering obligations, we have just launched Credas+, a new managed compliance service which removes the burden of having to manually remediate AML results.

“The new service offers a single comprehensive solution that delivers a pass or fail result, together with comprehensive compliance reports, including all the remediation evidence.

“We have made a significant investment in our new Credas+ service, which combines managed outsource compliance for PEPs, Sanctions & IDV. Estate agents will be able to reduce both their workload and the administrative burden of compliance.

“We are a leading provider of digital compliance solutions and have processed 2.3 million people through our platform in the last 12 months alone. That’s about 1 in 20 adults in the UK aged 18-65 in just a year.”



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  1. SimonLBradbury

    I think that all estate agents are aware of the increasing importance of AML checks. One particular issue that I have observed both in my area and indeed across the country, is the failure of some agents to conduct a full AML check of the vendor for a “one off” viewing – often arranged prior to full marketing.
    My understanding, and I may be wrong, is that even in respect of a one off viewing for a property that may not actually be on the market or is about to come to market – AML checks must be completed for the seller before the property can even be IDENTIFIED to a prospective buyer let alone a viewing arranged.
    I’d appreciate any clarification on this as I suspect that this is a very common issue. I am NOT suggesting that this is being done by estate agents who are knowingly breaking the law but because they genuinely believe that simply identifying (by providing the address) a specific property to a potential buyer before vendor AML checks are conducted, even if a viewing is not arranged, is perfectly legal… and it might be!
    If my own (admittedly anecdotal) experience is anything to go by and if my understanding of the regulations is correct, I would suggest that this is might be the singularly most common breach of the AML regulations by well meaning agents, all be it being done in genuine ignorance as opposed to knowingly breaking the law.


    1. Matthew Gardiner Legge

      My interpretation is that absolutely NO marketing (including one-off viewings and even mentioning the specific address) can happen until the vendor’s AML checks are complete.

      1. SimonLBradbury

        Thanks Matthew – that is exactly my understanding but it appears not to be the case with a number of other agents.

    2. MS1975

      Yes Simon you are completely correct- calling a property out to a potential buyer is marketing and therefore if this happens a business relationship has been formed with the vendor and so CDD should be conducted prior to the marketing. Mel Smith.


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