Estate Agent Today understands that the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors wants to become a supervisory body under new laws attempting to combat money laundering.
The 4th European Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which came into effect from June of this year, gives individual EU member countries two years to implement its regulations through national legislation. So it must be enshrined in new UK laws by summer 2017.
The directive’s regulations, which applies to a range of businesses including property, applies to payments in and out of organisations for goods valued over €10,000. The regulations apply whether the payment is a single transaction or many linked transactions.
When this is enshrined in UK law, the directive as it applies to property will permit agents and some others involved in sales to be supervised within the industry by a designated body.
“Given our profession’s excellent track record in committing to and delivering self-regulation, we are delighted that the effective of proper self-regulation in raising standards has been recognised [in the directive]” EAT has been told by Luay Al-Khatib, RICS’ director of regulation for the UK & Ireland.
“RICS will shortly be formally applying to become a Treasury designated supervisory body for AML in the UK” he says.
Al-Khatib adds that this would be in addition to RICS’ existing work in “providing a framework of minimum standards and related guidance for members on how to deal with suspicious activity.”
Meanwhile there is still no news from RICS or the National Association of Estate Agents on their separate investigations into specific allegations and comments in Channel 4’s From Russia With Cash documentary, broadcast last month.
The programme followed a ‘politician’ - supposed to be a Russian government minister - to see how agents reacted to a plan to use millions of pounds of stolen money to purchase high end property in the capital. In the programme there were instances of estate agents allegedly recommending law firms to help a buyer hide his identity.