Posh homebuyers targeted in money-laundering fight
09 Oct 2019

Estate agents could be forced to hand over private information on the buyers of upmarket properties under measures to tackle money laundering.

The information, which could include bank account details, would be given to the National Crime Agency as part of efforts to gather additional intelligence, including on “dirty money” suspected of being pushed through the British property market. Details of properties being bought by companies, including their bank account details and other financial information, would be provided to the authorities.

Home Office officials are considering tactical targeting orders similar to powers used in the United States to collect information about corporations buying high-value properties for cash in areas such as Manhattan and Palm Beach.

In Britain they could be used to focus on properties being sold in exclusive parts of London such as Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster. However, the orders could be expanded to cover cheaper properties in other parts of the country being purchased by organised criminals.

Companies involved in finding properties for wealthy customers said that introducing orders risked adversely affecting activity in the high-end residential market.

By Richard Ford, The Times, 5 October 2019

Read more at The Times

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