What Money Laundering checks do Conveyancers carry out?
Posted on 9th January 2020
What is Money Laundering?
Money laundering is the process in which criminals illegally disguise illegitimate funds as those that have been legitimately acquired. This, in effect, allows them to benefit, and profit, from the proceeds of crime and costs British financial institutions approximately 5 billion pounds each year in tackling the problem.
MG Legal’s property solicitors are alert to the warning signs of money laundering and carry out all necessary checks, and due diligence, to ensure our clients are protected from the same.
As you can see, money laundering is an extremely important issue, particularly when dealing with large amounts of money, and this is why our solicitors in Preston are required to carry out the necessary checks.
What Does my Conveyancer do?
There are specific protocols and guidelines your conveyancing solicitor is to follow throughout the conveyancing transaction, to ensure there is no fraudulent activity taking place.
MG Legal’s solicitors in Preston have a set policy which is followed in each and every conveyancing transaction we carry out. As examples, these include the following:
- Our team, at the very beginning of the transaction, conduct a verification of identity check. Clients are required to provide two forms of identity evidence, one photographic and one which confirms proof of residence. Our team will see the original document and confirm that the same is a true likeness of the original, and the client being verified.
- For sale transactions, where the owner does not reside at the property, our team will additionally request evidence linking them to the property such as a council tax bill, or a utility bill, confirming that they do indeed own the property being sold.
- For purchase transactions, our team have comprised a specific proof of funds form which requires clients to confirm, and provide supporting evidence, as to where funds being used to facilitate the transaction have originated from.
- In addition, our solicitors in Preston will review the transaction, in terms of anti-money laundering, at regular intervals. This is to ensure that, even if there is no suspicious activity at the start of the transaction, there has been no further reason to believe money laundering may be taking place.
- MG Legal also have a specialist Money Laundering Officer, whom deals with such matters. This would be whom any suspicious activity would be reported to for further review, before concluding how to proceed, and discussing whether further reporting to the necessary authorities may be necessary.
What are the upcoming changes?
Set to be introduced on 10th January 2020, there is to be a new focus on electronic verification in attempts to eradicate money laundering, particularly in terms of online identity and source of funds checkers.
One major company, taking this market by storm, is Thirdfort, who use specialist facial recognition techniques within their technology in identifying clients. This is carried out via the use of a mobile app which, with the ever-growing use and need for technology, is a major development for anti-money laundering checks.
MG Legal’s solicitors in Preston understand that clients have busy lives, with work and family commitments, therefore, may not always be able to physically attend one of our offices in order to carry out the necessary checks. Our team carry such checks out at the start of any conveyancing transaction and, this new electronic focus, could just help our clients in getting their matter moving at an earlier date, without the need to arrange a convenient time to attend upon money laundering checks.
The new focus is set out within the new Regulations which, as an update to the Money Laundering Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017, state the following:
“Information may be regarded as obtained from a reliable source which is independent of the person whose identity is being verified where:
(a) it is obtained by means of an electronic identification process, including by using electronic identification means or by using a trust service (within the meanings of those terms in Regulation)
“b) that process is secure from fraud and misuse and capable of providing an appropriate level of assurance that the person claiming a particular identity is in fact the person with that identity.”
As you can see, the Regulations make provision for electronic verification, and the circumstances in which the same can be trusted, and relied upon, as an appropriate form of anti-money laundering checking.
With our clients being the priority, and the importance of anti-money laundering checks, this is something that our team of solicitors in Preston are carefully considering.
For more information on the importance of anti-money laundering, or any other conveyancing query, contact our team of property solicitors in Preston today at email@example.com.
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