Smartsearch, one of the key suppliers of Anti Money Laundering solutions to sales and lettings agents in the UK, has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its innovation.
The company’s online AML system was picked out by the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for developing a “world-leading” AML verification platform.
The Yorkshire-based firm offers both sales and letting agents of all sizes the ability to verify and check the identities of vendors, buyers, landlords and tenants, demand for which has increased dramatically since the industry was required to comply with the AML regulations in June last year.
This includes checking that clients are not on the government’s sanctions list or a ‘politically exposed person’, plus the system removes the need for agents’ clients to provide identity verification.
Level of risk
Agents are required to have a process in place to identify the level of risk posed by an individual to their business based on the AML regulations, and every client must be assessed individually and appropriate checks carried out.
In January it was revealed by the National Association of Estate Agents that several companies had been hit with fines totalling six and even seven figures since the regulations went live in June, while a recent report estimated that a fifth of all agents had been fined so far.
This has created a huge market for AML solutions within the property industry and other sectors, and consequently Smartsearch is one of the fastest-growing companies in the UK by turnover.
It has increased its team from seven to 90 people and relocated from Leeds to new-build offices in Ilkley.
“SmartSearch has grown so fast over the past two years; this award really recognises that commercial achievement, and is testimony to the hard work and dedication of our staff,” says its Managing Director Martin Cheek (pictured).