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HMRC should be tougher on letting agency checks - survey

A technology platform claims that as many as a third of lettings agencies that should be compliant with anti-money laundering regulations are in fact non-compliant.

From October last year, letting agents who deal in rental properties worth more than €10,000 or £8,300 a month must be registered for AML purposes with HM Revenue and Customs.

Now Credas Technologies has surveyed 1,000 property professionals and claims the vast majority would like to see HMRC act more proactively to deter money laundering, as almost a third believe their own AML compliance procedures would fail.


In the survey, when asked about the importance of AML compliance in relation to other workplace goals such as performance targets and additional income opportunities, just 37 per cent believe it was the most important.

The survey also found that just 11 per cent would intentionally turn a blind eye to AML compliance in order to hit performance targets or secure additional income opportunities, while nine per cent stated that they may do it unintentionally. 

On the plus side, around three quarters had some form of training when it comes to spotting potential money laundering warning signs, although just 16 per cent stated this training was given by an AML professional. 

The vast majority want to see more done to prevent money laundering, with 90 per cent wanting to see HMRC be more proactive in helping the industry rather than ‘clamping down’ simply by issuing fines for non-compliance.

Tim Barnett, the chief executive of Credas Technologies, says: “There’s no doubt that the property industry is still finding its feet when it comes to complete AML compliance and it's telling that nearly a third of professionals within the sector don’t believe their AML compliance procedures would stand up to scrutiny from HMRC. 

“However, it’s fair to say that this is down to a lack of resources rather than an anti-AML attitude, with many struggling under the workplace pressures caused by the pandemic property market boom. 

“The in-house execution of AML checks is no doubt adding to this workload and when coupled with the sporadic level of training with regard to spotting money laundering warning signs, it’s hardly surprising the industry is crying out for help.” 

  • Matthew Payne

    You would be suprised to see how many agents have no AML process at all, let alone requiring improvement.

  • icon

    Suggestion to Tim Barnett, the chief executive of Credas Technologies, when totuing for business it is a good idea not to suggest that HMRC are tougher on your potential customers. It is called shooting yourself in the foot.


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