Author: Niall Hearty 10 October 2022
Niall Hearty of financial crime specialists Rahman Ravelli considers the statistics.
Recently-published figures show that AML fines declined by 19% overall in the 2021-22 financial year. But fines imposed on estate agents rose by 980%, to reach a total of £772,618.
Estate agency is one of the business sectors that must, under the Money Laundering Regulations, register for AML supervision by HM Revenue and Customs. Accountants, financial services businesses and solicitors must also register for supervision as, like estate agents, they are viewed as being the most high-risk in terms of exposure to money laundering.
Estate agents and other companies subject to AML supervision must conduct due diligence checks on clientele, monitor transactions and sources of funds, carry out enhanced assessments of high-risk individuals and companies and put appropriate precautions in place.
The property sector has the highest proportion of new businesses registered for AML supervision, which may account for the high number of fines it has had imposed.
The increased activity in the property sector since the peak of the coronavirus pandemic - due to factors such as the stamp duty holiday - may also be part of the reason for the increase in fines for estate agents.
Niall has a wealth of corporate crime expertise and an ability to coordinate global bribery and corruption cases. His achievements in such investigations have made him a logical choice for corporate clients.