Estate agents in England need to improve their anti-money laundering standard following a crackdown by HMRC and a survey finding that over a third admit they have no AML officer in place.
Hiding identity to be punished with up to five years’ jail in money-laundering crackdown
New laws that aim to stop the UK being a magnet for money launderers – by forcing the owners of properties to reveal their identities – should be applied retrospectively, leading anti-corruption organisations whose work has strongly influenced the government are saying.
Transparency International and Global Witness say only tough new anti-laundering measures will help the UK to clean up its act. The organisations’ revelation that large chunks of London’s prime properties are now owned by trusts in tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands prompted David Cameron to warn that the UK “must not become a safe haven for corrupt money from around the world”.
The National Association of Estate Agents has teamed up with a campaigning anti-corruption body to call for four major changes to the sales and purchase process in a bid to combat money-laundering.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says it wants to see 'minimum competency' requirements for sales and letting agents to handle anti-money laundering issues, regulated by the industry itself.
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