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Why a traditional KYC approach is no longer fit for purpose for property firms

Amidst mounting regulatory pressure and the escalating threat of financial crime, property firms must embrace innovation to protect themselves and their clients. Making the switch to a perpetual Know Your Customer (pKYC) model has become imperative for staying ahead of criminal activities.

Maintaining accurate risk profiles

The traditional Know Your Customer (KYC) approach is no longer sufficient in the face of evolving financial crime. Perpetual KYC offers property firms the ability to create a complete and constantly evolving picture of their clients through continuous monitoring and updating of client information.


By leveraging a wide range of data sources and technology, pKYC enables firms to identify potential red flags and stay updated throughout the customer lifecycle. This comprehensive view helps firms maintain accurate risk profiles and better protect themselves and their clients from illicit activities.

Addressing regulatory pressure and sanctions

UK property firms face increasing regulatory pressure, with the risk of significant fines for non-compliance. Moreover, the expanding sanctions regime poses a significant threat as individuals attempt to evade restrictions. Recent geopolitical events, such as the Russian invasion and subsequent sanctions, have highlighted the need for robust compliance measures.

Adopting a pKYC model equips property firms with the necessary tools to identify and monitor new and existing customers, ensuring compliance with the ever-changing regulatory landscape and reducing the risk of unknowingly enabling illicit financial activities.

A competitive advantage

By embracing cutting-edge technology and implementing pKYC, property firms can transform compliance into a competitive advantage.

Automating risk management through pKYC processes streamlines onboarding procedures and minimises false positives, providing a seamless customer experience. Property firms that adopt pKYC demonstrate a commitment to thorough due diligence, which instils confidence in clients and sets them apart from competitors.

Additionally, the cost-effective nature of pKYC allows firms to allocate resources more efficiently, focusing on core business activities while maintaining robust compliance standards.

Supporting the transition with next-generation platforms

To facilitate the adoption of pKYC, we recently launched an advanced platform designed to offer a comprehensive view of each client and streamline risk management. This next-generation platform utilises extensive data sources and ensures up-to-date information, making compliance efforts more efficient and cost-effective for property firms and estate agents. SmartSearch's decade-long journey in supporting regulated firms with anti-money laundering compliance has established its credibility and trust among over 6,000 clients and 55,000 users, including top financial services, accountancy, legal, and over 1,000 property firms.

In an increasingly complex landscape of financial crime and regulatory demands, property firms in the UK must adapt to thrive. Embracing a perpetual Know Your Customer (pKYC) model enables property firms to maintain accurate risk profiles, address regulatory pressures and sanctions, and leverage compliance as a competitive advantage.

With advanced digital compliance platforms, property firms can streamline their compliance efforts and enhance their ability to detect and prevent illicit activities. By adopting pKYC, property firms can safeguard their future while ensuring the security of their clients and the integrity of the industry as a whole.


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