A survey suggests that the average fine incurred by estate agents for apparent non-compliance with anti-money laundering regulations is £11,842.
Research by identification verification firm Credas says a third of agents were fined more - between £15,000 and £25,000.
No fewer than 19 per cent of the agents questioned said they had been fined for non-compliance: however, the survey had a small sample of just 100 agents.
“AML non-compliance is clearly hitting the pockets of agents around the UK. The fact that nearly a fifth have been found non-compliant and some have been fined is really concerning and demonstrates that the sector hasn’t had the time or enough information to prepare properly for these regulations” claims Rhys David, chief executive of Credas.
“We are also concerned that 32 per cent of the agents surveyed are still using a paper filing system to store their AML data. There are so many digital solutions available on the market which will help agents with data storage and management, that there is no need to still depend on an old-fashioned filing cabinet and introduce risk” he adds.
“This year will be a challenging one for the property sector, with General Data Protection Regulation compliance also on the horizon on May 25, it is more important than ever for agents to look at other ways of complying with regulation and safely storing data” David concludes.