Just a third of conveyancers are carrying out the most thorough electronic anti-money laundering checks for all transactions, it is being claimed.
SearchFlow says it has conducted a survey of conveyancing firms which says 38 per cent “never carry out electronic identity checks to verify the identity of a customer” while 29 per cent conduct electronic checks of this kind “only sometimes.”
The survey also reveals a stark difference with identity check practices by company size.
Searchflow claims sole practitioners are leaving themselves more exposed to the risk of identity theft as only five per cent carry out electronic checks for all transactions. In contrast about half of larger firms, of 15 partners or more, carry out electronic checks for all transactions.
The firm insists that electronic checks are safer and more thorough.
“Conveyancers are leaving themselves open to criminal activity that can seriously impact their careers and reputations. Money laundering schemes are continually adapting with more sophisticated means to scam the profession. It’s startling that so many are still not carrying out electronic checks on identification and worrying that sole practitioners are leaving themselves particularly exposed to this area of risk” claims the firm’s managing director, Greg Bryce.