Katy Wilkins at 192business had this to say about Anti-Money Laundering legislation:
We saw yet again another rise in mortgage and property fraud in 2010. According to the KPMG’s fraud barometer, mortgage fraud quadrupled during the first six months of 2010 and the National Fraud Authority’s 2011 Annual Fraud Indicator quoted a fraud loss figure of £1 billion for the industry accounting for nearly a third of the total financial sector’s loss.
That’s why, when instructed by new clients and working on new retainers conveyancing is one of many professions that need to keep a look out for suspicious behaviour to avoid unknowingly being involved in potential money laundering transactions.
For conveyancers, a thorough approach to identifying clients and carrying out background research on both them and their properties is essential as well as having the resources to delve a little deeper into any pre-contract enquiries that surface while you investigate.
You have been checking identities, signatures and documents for decades but it’s not just a case of identifying prospective clients but also verifying their identity by independent means — it’s a two part process. To mitigate money laundering, the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, Section 5, confirms this as does the Practice Note from the Law Society plus guidance issued by the Land Registry and other regulatory bodies.
So to protect yourself and your firm’s reputation take it one step further and introduce an electronic verification check to carry out your customer due diligence and meet AML compliance.
This way you are able to check that the seller actually owns the property confirming the first signs of commercial rationale, check the buyer and seller are who they say they are and keep an online record that these checks were completed. 192business is one provider of such identity verification solutions whose online tools specifically help conveyancers complete their due diligence especially in higher risk situations where they deal with clients at a distance or never meet their clients.
192business’ global solutions offer a robust AML check to ensure you know your client before commencing work. Following work with many solicitors for a number of years, 192business’ understanding of law firms’ money laundering compliance requirements, its data and the features in its KYC tools has led to the Law Society naming 192business as a preferred supplier for identity & KYC checking.
A number of data sources are built into the 192business technology including: the current and historical Electoral Roll; the Directory Enquiries database; Companies House data; Land Registry data; and Credit Reference Agency data. The online checks are also run against a number of negative databases such as mortality records; known fraudster and money launderer database; terrorist and sanctions files; and politically exposed people (PEPs) data and will highlight how many of these sources an individual has been verified on all search reports.
The online KYC check enables a dynamic time saving process for conveyancers allowing you to get on with fee earning while minimising risk and preventing criminals exploiting the system. For more information you can email, [email protected]
or visit www.192business.com
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