AML compliance prevents hefty HMRC fines

May 9, 2024

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In the ever-evolving property market, ensuring compliance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations is crucial for Estate Agents. The £1.6 million fines imposed by HMRC recently have further highlighted the necessity of being compliant within the industry. 


How can Estate Agents stay AML compliant?

As you all know AML regulations are designed to prevent the real estate sector from being used as a vehicle for money laundering and illicit financial activities. Estate agents are a key element of the property transaction, and very often the first point of contact in a transaction. It is important to implement stringent AML measures to detect and deter suspicious activities effectively. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in severe financial penalties, damage to reputation locally and further afield, and potentially legal consequences.

Having a solution tailored to address the specific needs of estate agents in both their onboarding and AML compliance is essential. Finding a solution that offers a comprehensive suite of features designed to streamline AML compliance processes and mitigate associated risks, is key - and Checkboard leverages cutting-edge technology, as well as integrations.

When it comes to AML, robust identity verification capabilities are vital. Through secure and automated verification procedures, Checkboard enables estate agents to verify the identities of clients with speed and accuracy, reducing the risk of identity fraud and impersonation.

Efficient AML screening is essential, and that also includes covering jurisdictions outside the UK. Cross-referencing client information against global watchlists and databases of sanctioned individuals and entities is important. This proactive approach enables those in the property sector to identify and flag potential issues or causes for concern, PEPs or individuals with a history of financial misconduct, thereby minimising the risk of inadvertently facilitating illicit transactions.


Real-time AML monitoring

We know how important it is to have real-time transaction monitoring capabilities, which enabling key stakeholders to detect suspicious activities and unusual patterns in client transactions promptly. Monitoring shouldn’t just be at point of running the check, you need regular on-going monitoring. At Checkboard we know transactions aren’t a one day thing, and can take their time. That is why continuously monitoring client interactions and financial transactions for a year post initial check, provides all those involved with the knowledge that the transactions they are working on stay safe.


Streamlined AML software

It is essential when adopting any AML compliance tools and software that there is a user-friendly interface for Estate Agents and their clients, as well as seamless integration with existing agency systems, ensuring minimal disruption to day-to-day operations.

We know that estate agents typically absorb the costs associated with AML checks, rather than passing them on to their clients. But did you know you can send the payment straight to the client? This not only enables them to see exactly what they are paying for but makes things more efficient and streamlined for you, from the outset.

In light of the recent fines distributed by HMRC against estate agents who failed to register or re-register, the case for a streamlined system becomes even more compelling. By embracing Checkboard, our Estate Agent customers have been able to proactively mitigate the risk of regulatory penalties, whilst safeguarding their reputation, and having a suitable audit trail for compliance purposes.


Checkboard is customisable to you and your needs so why not book a demo today.