Estate agents assisting with buying or selling overseas property now subject to Anti-Money Laundering regulations

Changes to the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Regulations mean that UK-based estate agents who assist clients to buy or sell overseas property must comply with the regulations from 1 October 2012 and register as soon as possible. Those that fail to do so may be subject to a fine or face prosecution.

The OFT also welcomes the decision of the First-Tier Tribunal to dismiss Sussex-based estate agent, Mansell McTaggart Limited's appeal against a £3,000 fine imposed by the OFT for carrying on estate agency work while unregistered. The Tribunal found that the penalty imposed in this case was appropriate. Mansell McTaggart Limited is now registered with the OFT under the AML Regulations.

To date around 7,000 estate agents and 6,000 consumer credit lenders have registered with the OFT under AML regulations.

David Fisher, OFT Director of Anti Money Laundering, said:

'The changes to the Regulations will help to deter, detect and disrupt financial crime by reducing businesses' vulnerability to being used for money laundering or the financing of terrorism.

'It is important that businesses comply with the Regulations and register with the OFT. As shown by our action against Mansell McTaggart Limited, where they do not, we will impose penalties.'

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