HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has seen a rise in new applications for AML (anti-money laundering) supervision where applicants do not have the required risk management procedures in place which is a barrier to becoming compliant.
A debate in Westminster Hall on undesignated client accounts brought by the Rt. Hon. Kelly Tolhurst, the Conservative MP for Rochester and Strood, with input from Propertymark, resulted in assurances from HM Treasury that action will be taken to improve guidance and reform anti-money laundering procedures if necessary and end the unfair denial of banking services to property agents.
Proposals to address difficulties in accessing banking services are being developed and a consultation will begin later in 2023. Following our letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in August 2023, Treasury Lords Minister Baroness Penn responded seeking our engagement through this process.
Propertymark strongly supports the proposed Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS) model in response to the HM Treasury’s consultation after significant weaknesses and inconsistencies have been identified that have left the UK vulnerable to counter-terrorism.
Letting agents who deal with properties that have monthly rents equivalent to €10,000 or more have responsibilities under Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations to prevent their services from being used for money laundering or terrorist financing activities.
HM Treasury has launched a consultation setting out four possible models for AML supervision with potential implications for sales and letting agents, property auctioneers and high-value dealers across the UK. The proposals are in line with the UK Government’s commitment to the Economic Crime Plan 2023-2026 and they are now seeking views on the potential benefits and disadvantages of each option.
The introduction of the Renter's (Reform) Bill resulted a lot of media coverage, with agents and landlords voicing valid concerns about the potential impact of future legislation on their businesses. However, it is important to note that the Bill has not yet become law and is still undergoing scrutiny and possible amendments.
Purchasing property in the UK is a common method that can be used by serious organised criminals to launder the proceeds of criminal activity. This position paper includes recommendations that the UK Government should include in future legislation as well as other plans and reforms to reduce economic crime.
Propertymark has published a position paper with key recommendations the UK Government should include in future legislation as well as other plans and reforms to reduce economic crime in the property sector.
Proposals have been laid out to consult on and deliver a package of reforms to the UK’s AML supervisory regime and wider AML regulations. While the details are yet to be published, the HM Treasury Review of the UK’s AML/CFT regulatory and supervisory regime published in 2022 stated AML supervisors often identified inadequate AML policies, controls and procedures as a common failing.
Propertymark is playing a vital role in the UK Government's work on digital identity policy in the home buying process with an exclusive invite from Julia Lopez MP, Minister of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to attend a workshop to pinpoint barriers to the adoption and agree on potential solutions.
A year after the case of Reverend Richard Hall returning to his Luton property to find that it had been sold without his knowledge, BBC You and Yours found a pattern of criminal behaviour.
On 10 January 2020, the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019 came into force. This required letting agents who manage properties with monthly rental incomes of €10,000 or more (or equivalent amount in a Member State) to comply with anti-money laundering regulations.
Letting agents who manage properties which yield an income of 10,000 Euros or more a month (or equivalent amount in each Member State) have to comply with anti-money laundering regulations. Despite how the Regulations specifically only affect a small portion of properties, many banks refused to allow letting agents to open new pooled client accounts.
Propertymark has opened compliance cases against a small number of members following the latest HMRC publication of businesses who have failed to comply with anti-money laundering regulations.
On 7 September 2022, Timothy Douglas, Head of Policy & Campaigns for Propertymark, met Rt Hon Dame Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Corruption and Responsible Tax at Portcullis House in Westminster.