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Government must help agents meet AML obligations - expert

The perception of the housing market, especially in London, being awash with ‘dirty’ money is a problem that needs to be tackled by more government action as well as more diligence amongst estate agents.

That’s the view of Collette Allen, client services director of PropTech company Smart Search.

Allen - in an interview with Estate Agent Today's Lee Dahill, says: “Everyone needs to take a bit of accountability. It’s easy to blame estate agents … but what are the government doing to ensure businesses being set up are transparent, and are bringing money into the UK in the right manner.”

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Allen particularly points up to the long-standing government pledge - so far still unfulfilled - of making it more transparent which individuals and companies operate via international tax havens.

Her comments, which also look at the impact of the Pandora Papers scandal on the property sector, come on top of a quick guide for agents new to the industry as to what the whole Anti-Money Laundering issue is about.

The interview is just under seven minutes long and exclusive to EAT readers. 

  • Christian Woodhouse

    In reality it's very easy for estate agents to be compliant, they need to use a digital AML provider, like SmartSearch. Stop doing things manually just to save a few pounds. If your business gets audited by HMRC, you'll waste more money dealing with that enquiry than you saved by doing things manually.

    Manual checks are not sufficient anymore, so stop being tight and put you fees up if you have to in order to cover the few quid it costs to be compliant.

  • Daniel Hamilton-Charlton

    Outsource it. Client pays, you get the reports. Doesn’t get any easier.

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    Yes and then the competition will not offer than and do a cheaper fee.
    I am not going to pay for a money laundering search when I know I am totally legal.
    Nor am I going to pay for a report for someone else to use.
    It is part of the the EA job to do the AML check I am not paying for it

     
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    Same old mentally of entitlement where people think the govt has to pay for them - now businesses think the govt should pay for them to do their job

  • Daniel Hamilton-Charlton

    Jan, do you know what outsourcing is? With us, the agent refers a client who pays for a service, identifying the related agent as they go, the data is completed remotely by the client using an app and the report is returned to the agent in a secure dashboard. A compliant solution funded by the client, not the agent.
    The trouble is, too many agents are still using a manual check of ID, and it's not good enough.
    You may know you are totally legal, but you still need to prove that to the estate agent, hence it being an ID/AML check. Agents can't just take a clients word for it.

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