The new anti-money laundering Regulations place significant obligations upon estate agents.
At Singer Vielle, we are embracing a technological approach to further improve our service to clients.
Updated money laundering regulations came into effect in June 2017 which have significant consequences for the property industry.
The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 require estate agents to make significant changes to their processes and procedures. All estate agents must now carry out due diligence on both a purchaser and a seller. “Regulation 4 (3): For the purposes of the Regulations, an estate agent is to be treated as entering into a business relationship with a purchaser (as well as a seller), at the point when the purchaser’s offer is accepted by the seller.
Furthermore, Regulation 28 (10) requires a selling agent to verify a purchasing agent’s identity and their authority to act on behalf of the purchaser. Similarly, a purchasing agent is required to verify the selling agent’s identity and their authority to act on behalf of the seller.
Estate agents can no longer rely upon another professional, such as an acting solicitor. Reliance on third party rules exist to assist but this does not negate the estate agent’s responsibilities.
Failure to comply with the Regulations could result in an unlimited fine and a prison term of up to two years.
Singer Vielle is a pioneering user of the clicktopurchase® platform. We will be using the platform to provide a technological approach to the obligations.
The latest version of the clicktopurchase® platform provides an electronic audit trail concerning customer due diligence, identity and authority to act requests, if actioned through the platform. This tamper-proof electronic record is of great importance in protecting agents and clients. This will enable us to add another significant addition to our service, once again using leading technology.
Should you wish to learn more, please do not hesitate to contact me or a member of the team.