Purchasing property in the UK is a method used by organised criminal gangs to launder the proceeds of criminal activity. Due to high property values, large sums can be 'cleaned' in one go, which means Estate Agents are at the highest risk of getting unwittingly involved.
Since 2017 Agents have been required to register with HMRC and jump through hoops to show compliance, many have not yet done so. The regulations apply to the smallest of firms, even a one-man operation needs to register and declare who is the responsible party (nominating the individual that receives fines and goes to prison in the worst-case scenario).
Confirming the identity of clients is central to keeping yourself safe and is often referred to as 'Know your customer'. Many smaller agents muddle through this process and find themselves buying and topping up credits for ID/AML checking services, absorbing the costs or heaven forbid get caught in a cycle of meeting face to face and photocopying documents and hoping they are not counterfeit.
There is now a simpler way to manage this conundrum as part of 'Getting Legally Prepared', simply put, you outsource the headache to Property Searches Direct.
We provide you with a bespoke dashboard that receives completed reports. You provide your client with a simple link to our market-leading ID/AML product ordering platform. They rec