12 FEB 2019
Today we've published the global professional statement: "Countering bribery and corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing" to further tackle the known problems within the property industry. RICS have been working with industry and Government to address this issue and this statement will become mandatory on 1 September 2019.
The statement sets out the obligations for RICS professionals and regulated firms in order to minimise their exposure to money laundering, bribery and corruption risks, including how to guard against these financial crimes in their day-to-day business operations.
While principles in this area were covered by RICS conduct and ethics, this professional statement and its regulation will be specific on certain points. The property sector is vulnerable to this sort of activity, and the statement will manage the risk, increasing market confidence in the profession.
Global Property Standards, Associate Director
The statement is a behavioural statement, mandatory for all sectors across all disciplines. It will provide a clear description of how to manage the risks, and it sets out professional and ethical behaviour, providing practitioners and firms with clear and consistent principles on what constitutes a breach of conduct.
Through an extensive global consultation, RICS engaged professionals and industry stakeholders including Transparency International and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to specifically address the risks posed by bribery and corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing.
RICS has also been working with the UK Government to support the Flag It Up anti-money laundering campaign. The campaign, which launched into the property sector in October 2018, promotes best practice amongst property professionals in undertaking customer due diligence and reporting suspicious activity.
Property professionals are a crucial line of defence against criminals who seek to launder their dirty cash in the UK before reinvesting it in serious and organised crime. Their crimes have no boundaries and can range from drug importation to human trafficking and terrorism.
That's why those in the industry are under a legal – and moral – obligation to flag it up when they spot something suspicious.
I'm very grateful for the publication of this professional statement to further promote best practice.
Minister for National Security and Economic Crime