More than 20,000 UK estate agency branches have registered with HMRC for money laundering supervision – but thousands have yet to do so according to risk management platform Thirdfort.
Some 20,059 UK branches across the country have registered with HMRC, the anti-money laundering supervisor for the estate agency sector, according to the latest data available from HMRC.
This is an increase of 3,329 in just under 18 months, up from 16,730 in December 2021.
Yet despite the overall increase, around 4,000 branches still need to register or complete renewal with HMRC.
Some of these branches will be in the process of renewing and therefore not recorded in HMRC’s online figures, which only records branches once they have been approved.
Despite this, compared to the 24,500 estate agents in the UK, according to the latest data from the Office of National Statistics, this number means around 18 per cent of branches are unregistered or are yet to complete renewal.
Olly Thornton-Berry, managing director of Thirdfort, says: “Money laundering is a serious and growing risk in the property sector. As a result, HMRC and other regulators are stepping up their oversight. So, to avoid fines, reputational damage or even an outright ban, we would encourage all agents to register for money laundering supervision with HMRC.
“Once registered, agents do not need to worry about spending days or weeks complying with the regulations. Tools such as ours make it quick and easy to satisfy AML verification and means compliance becomes a competitive advantage.”