Property professionals want help from the HMRC on money laundering

Most people who work in property want the HMRC to act proactively to deter money laundering, as a third admit their own compliance procedures aren’t up to scratch.

As it stands 45% of property professionals carry out anti money laundering checks.

However nearly a quarter (23%) see hitting their own personal performance targets as more important than these checks, indicating that the drive for profit is resulting in a lack of vigilance.

Meanwhile 13% reckon it doesn’t matter as they won’t ever come under fire even if they fall victim to money laundering.

The research comes from Credas Technologies, the anti-money laundering tech platform.

Tim Barnett, its chief executive, said: “There’s no doubt that the property industry is still finding its feet when it comes to complete AML compliance and it’s telling that nearly a third of professionals within the sector don’t believe their AML compliance procedures would stand up to scrutiny from HMRC.

“However, it’s fair to say that this is down to a lack of resources rather than an anti-AML attitude, with many struggling under the workplace pressures caused by the pandemic property market boom.

“The in-house execution of AML checks is no doubt adding to this workload and when coupled with the sporadic level of training with regard to spotting money laundering warning signs, it’s hardly surprising the industry is crying out for help.

“The good news is that the majority of property professionals realise the important role they play in preventing money laundering via the sector and they would like to see more done to help them win this fight.

“Unfortunately, this help is unlikely to come from HMRC or any legislative changes with regard to how buyers and sellers are qualified before they can enter the market, so utilising the help of an AML professional is the best way to reduce the burden and increase your AML effectiveness.”

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