Agent fined by OFT over money laundering regulations

An estate agent has been fined almost £12,000 for failing to comply with anti money laundering regulations.

The Office of Fair Trading has hit Leicester-based IPS Estate Agents with a penalty of £11,844.

The firm, which has a no-commission business model and charges sellers from £349, failed to comply with a number of requirements under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.

The firm was, correctly, on the anti-money laundering register but the OFT said that it had failed to verify the identity of customers, keep records, ensure staff awareness and have proper policies.

According to the OFT, the failures relate to the period between March 2010 and October 2011. The OFT visited the premises to check compliance with the Regulations in June 2011 and again in October 2011.

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.”

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