LonRes buys anti-money laundering consultancy to help protect its member agents

LonRes, the trading platform used by agents in central London, has acquired an anti-money laundering consultancy, Financial Crime Services.

It has not disclosed the price.

The Financial Crime Services team comes from a law enforcement background in the City police force and is headed by managing director Jerry Walters.

He has over 25 years’ experience of working in financial crime enforcement and is a member of the International Compliance Association specialising in AML and countering terrorist financing.

The firm offers a wide range of services and currently works with leading property professionals.

It is also NAEA Propertymark’s chosen provider of AML health checks, supplying compliance training for NAEA members.

The services offered by Financial Crime Services will continue to be available not just to LonRes subscribers but to anyone working in residential or commercial property who is subject to AML compliance.

The LonRes acquisition comes at a time when HMRC is targeting estate agents as part of a wider money laundering crackdown.

In recent guidelines it made clear that they expect agents to put in place controls and procedures to deal with AML and terrorist financing and ensure that they resource it too. For anyone failing to comply there are significant fines.

Anthony Payne, managing director of LonRes, said: “We introduced ResCheck – the mandatory LonRes AML service designed for agents operating in the sub agency market – three years ago and the acquisition of Financial Crime Services is a natural progression from this.

“AML compliance is both onerous and time-consuming. Financial Crime Services provide a number of options to free up agents to concentrate on what they do best – selling and renting properties.”

He added: “This latest acquisition forms part of a wider programme aimed at supporting LonRes subscribers through policy changes to the sector.”

Jerry Walters said: “AML policy is becoming ever more complex and for those who fail to understand it, the fines are large.

“It is easy to be unwittingly non-compliant, but for HMRC this is no defence.”

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