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Industry data suggests agents are getting serious about AML checks

A record number of anti-money laundering (AML) checks were carried out during the first quarter of 2022 across the UK property industry, Credas claims.

The AML platform said this is proof that the property market has ramped up its efforts to combat illicit activity in the sector. 

Credas data shows that the total volume of checks taking place across the property market hit new highs during the first quarter of this year alone, up 26% annually and 49% on the final three months of 2021.

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On an annual basis,Credas saw checks by property professionals climb by 513% year-on-year between 2019 and 2020, increasing by a further 65% in 2021.

As the number of individuals checked grows, the volume of those being flagged has also increased, rising 401% in 2021 and 31% in 2021.

However, Tim Barnett, chief executive of Credas, said the number of flagged checks has dropped as a proportion of total applicants.

He said: “Although essential, AML compliance is certainly an operational area that drew tired groans from property professionals when it was first introduced in 2018, with many viewing it as little more than red tapism from HMRC, adding to an already heavy workload. 

“But despite this fact, it’s great to see the level of AML checks being carried out has continued to climb to new highs.

“Not only was 2021 the best year on record in this respect, but we’ve already seen an incredibly strong start to 2022 and we believe that the industry will continue to excel where AML compliance is concerned.”

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