HMRC Getting Tough on AML Procedures

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The New Year is bringing increased vigour to HMRC’s pursuit of Estate Agents on the wrong side of AML regulations.

Speaking to Business Insider Magazine, Mark Hayward, the Chief Executive of the NAEA Propertymark, said, ‘All estate agents must be registered with HMRC for anti-money laundering purposes and are required to adhere to its systems and procedures. HMRC are making spot and random checks among agents, and failure to comply with anti-money laundering regulations will result in substantial fines.’

The government is launching a new watchdog to strengthen the defences against money laundering and terrorist financing. The Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS) will work with all the UK’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) supervisors to ensure organisations meet the high standards set out in the Money Laundering Regulations 2017, and has powers to investigate and penalise those that do not.

The new watchdog is likely to urge regulators of the other sectors, such as the legal and accountancy professions, to follow HMRC’s lead in levying huge fines on those that don’t have their procedures and AML checks.

Naming and shaming those that have been fined is widely being reported as the next step in ensuring firms comply adding reputational damage to the financial burden of a substantial fine.

The Business Insider story is here.

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