A leading AML provider says a recent parliamentary group’s call to tighten up AML regulations does not go far enough.
Thirdfort, which offers agents AML compliance software, says last week’s cross-party Economic Crime Manifesto launched by Margaret Hodge MP and former estate agency boss and MP Kevin Hollinrake, does not recognise the role that technology can play in weeding out money launderers from the home buying and selling transactions.
In his introduction to the manifesto, which was published via a parliamentary special interest group, Hollinrake says: “Far from being a white-collar issue that doesn’t affect our day-to-day lives, it facilitates drugs being sold to our children, violent crime on our streets, supports despots and leads to higher taxes and the impoverishment of nations.”
But the report, which calls for the ‘cancer’ of money laundering, fraud and other economic crime ‘infecting our economy’, makes little or no mention of how tech can help combat the problem.
Olly Thornton-Berry, MD of Thirdfort, claims that around a quarter of estate agents, faced with the manual and often repetitive task of checking clients and transactions for AML purposes, have not yet registered for AML supervision.
He said, “For property professionals, dealing with the ever-growing risk and compliance burden can mean getting bogged down by paper, endless repetition and increased fraud risk.
“Instead, cutting edge technology such as Open Banking, biometric and cryptographic verification, and transaction-specific data, leaves nowhere for dirty money to hide and offers an obvious and readily available solution.
“The UK has the tools in place to make genuine progress towards cleaning up our economy. It’s now a case of getting all professional services firms and estate agents on board with a more fit for purpose means of transacting.”