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Proptech: automate anti-money laundering, security chief urges

A PropTech company boss says evidence given to MPs confirms the need to improve anti-money laundering processes through greater automation and less reliance on humans.

Donald Toon of the National Crime Agency and Mark Thompson of the Serious Fraud Office have told MPs on the Treasury Select Committee that hundreds of billions of pounds are laundered through the UK annually and that when there are so many legitimate transactions, it is difficult to track fraudulent activity.

Now Martin Cheek - managing director of anti-money laundering verification platform SmartSearch - says it is time the government took more action to tackle money laundering, by making it mandatory to do electronic AML checking rather than relying on manual checks.

“As with all types of criminal activity, money launderers are becoming more and more sophisticated and employ a wide range of techniques to clean their dirty cash. As we can see from the evidence provided yesterday money laundering is becoming more and more of an issue in the UK” he says.

“It is therefore never been more important for firms to ensure they have appropriate AML systems in place in to prevent the risk of being victim to money laundering. Because the fraudulent documents - such as passports and driving licences - used to make fraudulent transactions are becoming so sophisticated, even when AML processes are in place, the manual checks involved means they are often struggling to spot the fakes” Cheek adds.

He claims that electronic identification is now widely recognised as the most reliable, secure and efficient source of information for identity solutions. He also claims that it is “the only option for failsafe system that will guarantee to recognise fraudulent documents and AML activity.”

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