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Estate agents fined for breaching money laundering regulations

Posted: 12th February 2013   In: Corporate Commercial

An estate agents firm has been fined nearly £12,000 for failing to comply with anti-money laundering regulations.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) took action against the Leicester-based IPS Estate Agents Ltd after it breached a number of the requirements of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.

The OFT said the failings related to verifying the identity of customers, keeping appropriate records and ensuring that relevant staff were aware of the law relating to money laundering and terrorist financing.

The firm had also failed to maintain appropriate risk-sensitive policies and procedures. It was fined £11,844.

Kate Pitt, OFT Deputy Director of Anti Money Laundering, said: “This fine sends out a message to all estate agents that they need to have appropriate measures in place to prevent their business from being used for money laundering or terrorist financing purposes.”

OFT guidance states that the regulations “seek to reduce businesses' vulnerability to being used for money laundering or terrorist financing by, for example, having to apply risk-sensitive policies and procedures on the verification of customer identity, record keeping, training staff and reporting suspicious activity to the Serious Organised Crime Agency”.

Please contact Sarah Liddiard for more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of complying with business regulations.