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News & opinion

9 MAY 2019

HMRC issue AML guidance for estate agency sector

Updated Anti Money Laundering guidance has this week been issued by HMRC to those working in estate agency.

There is a collective necessity to tackle this problem. Earlier this year, we launched our professional statement on anti-money laundering, bribery and corruption, and RICS has also worked closely with government to ensure the property market is resilient to illicit finance, and to ensure market confidence in the profession, as part of the Flag It Up campaign. Now HMRC are launching their guidance to assist firms in meeting the 2017 money laundering regulations.

Influencing and our work with government

RICS have been, since 2017, seeking to influence the regulations and proposed HMRC guidance, due to concerns around the implementation and the potential to leave the profession unable to play its part in preventing money laundering.

RICS was particularly concerned that some aspects of the government regulations, and guidance produced by HMRC, originally introduced situations in which agents could face civil and criminal liabilities in circumstances outside of their control. RICS, as such, started legal proceedings In 2017 on the back of the introduction of the new regulations and guidance.

We are pleased to note that, through pressure and influence from RICS, our primary concerns have been addressed within the updated guidance and therefore the litigation closed.

RICS Professionals who fall under this area should familiarise themselves with this guidance

Countering bribery and corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing

The risks of bribery and corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing cut across our profession, regardless of geography or industry specialism, and it should also be noted that the RICS Professional Statement on Countering Bribery and Corruption, Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing is effective from 1st September 2019.