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Associations & Bodies

Scrap €10k AML monthly rent limit for letting agencies, say Propertymark

Trade body leader, Mark Hayward, suggests that letting agencies should be treated like their sales counterparts to aid AML and stamp out money laundering via property in the UK.

Nigel Lewis

hayward AML

Propertymark has called for the €10,000 euro limit on lettings agents having to comply with anti-money laundering (AML) legislation to be scrapped.

The trade body’s remarks follow HM Treasury’s announcement that it has launched two consultations to ensure its anti-money laundering processes and supervisory regimes are up to scratch.

The Treasury says this offers the opportunity to ensure the regime responds to the UK’s particular circumstances and risks, is as effective as possible in preventing and detecting illicit finance, and supports UK competitiveness by ensuring the UK is a clean and safe place to do business.

Consultations on the Review of the UK’s Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Terrorist Financing regulatory and supervisory regime and amendments to the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations will gather views on a range of issues including enforcement and due diligence.

Mark Hayward (main pic), chief policy advisor at ARLA Propertymark, says continued reform of the anti-money laundering system is needed to defend the billions of corrupt funds that anecdotally flow annually through the UK via the real estate industry and to ensure robust checks on source of funds as well as source of wealth are fit for purpose.

AML review

Says Hayward, “With the pandemic, the onset of new technologies and the UK’s departure from the EU, these consultations provide an opportunity for the UK government to review how the rules are working for the property sector.

“Enforcement of non-compliance is essential, and we have long held the view that the €10,000 monthly rent threshold should be removed. Additionally, property agents need clear guidance that is simple, quick and easy to apply.”

A final report setting out the findings of the review and possible options for reform will be published by next June.

Read our guide to money laundering for agents.

 

August 2, 2021

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