Estate agents have been urged to ensure they are carrying out an annual independent audit of their anti-money laundering (AML) processes.
ID verification platform Credas reminds agents that a yearly independent audit is requitred as part of 2017's 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive.
The firm says the process is currently overlooked by many agents, but that with the 5th Directive on the horizon, more customers aree asking about independent audits.
"It is concerning that despite the 4th Directive now being in place for two years, we still have agents who aren’t fully compliant with the legislation and that for some, independent audits are widely ignored," says Rhys David, Credas chief executive.
With this in mind, Credas has put together a range of AML audit tips for agents below.
Find an expert: Look for an auditor or company which has specific expertise in money laundering Regulations to ensure that you are getting an audit which is fit for purpose.
Be honest: Don’t embellish what you have or don’t have in place. The audit is there to improve your AML compliance and to ensure that you don’t fall foul of the regulations.
Involve the team: Get your staff involved the process. Let them know that it is happening and make sure they know the importance of the audit and its findings for the agency. This is an important part of the 4th Directive and one which should help you manage and mitigate risks in the following year’s business.
Take the advice: When you have the recommendations following the audit – action them. Don’t waste your money on an audit that doesn’t make a difference to your business. Act on the advice of the audit and make some positive changes to improve on how AML compliant you are.
Do it soon: The 5th AML Directive is coming into force in January 2020 and the need for an audit as well as risk assessments on customers and staff is a significant part of that directive. Take action now and get your house in order so you know that when the 5th is enforced you are AML-OK.