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How should an agent consider the GDPR in relation to anti-money laundering regulations?
Bernard George, solicitor for Socrates Training Ltd:
The GDPR has little to do with the anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, save that both are a headache
The AML regulations say you must keep records of the checks you do on your clients from five years from the end of the relationship.
After that you must delete it, unless the client has consented to you keeping it longer.
Jon Baines, data protection advisor at Mishcon de Reya LLP:
Money laundering has long been recognised as an enabler of serious and organised crime, corruption and terrorism. Anti-money-laundering legislation requires estate agents to register with the HMRC, to have in place risk assessment policies, controls and procedures, to undertake customer due diligence and to report suspicious activity.
Much of this compliance work involves the processing and potential disclosure of customer personal data.
However, provided agents have appropriate measures in place to ensure that such information is kept safe, when stored or in transit, they should have no difficulty in complying with the GDPR, which makes clear that where processing of personal data is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the agent is subject, then it will be lawful.
Additionally, the Data Protection Act 2018 provides gateways, and – where appropriate – exemptions to permit to the sharing of personal data in pursuance of AML requirements.
The GDPR team at Mishcon de Reya comprises data protection experts as well as non-lawyer cyber security specialists. If you would like any advice on how to manage GDPR within your organisation, please contact Jon Baines.
Annemarie Proudfoot, head of customer relations at BestAgent:
Anti-money laundering regulations require, among other things, that agents keep records of customer due diligence for five years.
This of course includes identification verification - and the GDPR does not excuse agents’ obligation to comply with AML regulations.
If a customer has requested to be deleted after having performed a transaction, the agent is still required to safeguard AML information, but may not do anything more with the data than store it for AML compliance.
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