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Following the pandemic, businesses across the UK are rethinking
their working set up, with many looking to reduce office space to cut down real
HSBC recently announced plans to cut office space by 20% by the
end of the year to take advantage of the ‘working from home’ trend, while Deloitte
UK has already closed four offices as a result of remote working.
And it is not just businesses themselves that are pushing for
‘working from home’ to become a permanent feature - research shows that
‘hybrid’ working - where the working week is split between the office and home
- is most people’s ideal set up*. And it could even become a legal requirement
for employers to allow staff to work from home, following proposals for a legal
change that would
prevent employers from forcing staff to come into the office unless they can
prove it is essential.
sounds like 100% office-based working might be a thing of the past, but for regulated
businesses - such as estate agents, accountants, financial services and legal
firms - switching to a more home-based set up is not quite as straightforward,
as many of their AML compliance practices rely on office-based procedures and
can’t simply be ‘done from home’.
businesses still rely on manual AML processes -i.e. checking physical IDs,
making copies of those in the office - and often manual record keeping systems
too, while others use internal CRMs that cannot be accessed securely from outside
For these companies, it is difficult, if not impossible, for staff
working from home to run the proper checks needed to onboard a new customer, meaning
they - and the client - either have to
come into the office to run the checks, or worse, the checks are not being run
This is a huge issue, but luckily, one that can easily be rectified.
Online AML platforms can offer a quick, easy and secure way for regulated businesses
to not only run full AML checks remotely, but also, to ensure all record
keeping is up to date and fully compliant.
SmartSearch is a cloud-based AML customer due diligence platform,
which can be used independently, or integrated with a firm’s existing CRM while
the fully integrated app means that the same functionality is available
remotely, via phone or tablet, with all data feeding into the one central
This means that any search completed by staff members will be
uploaded and hosted on the platform and monitored every night for changes.
And the checks themselves are easy too - all the user needs to do
is enter the
client’s details - or scan their ID using their phone or tablet’s camera - and
SmartSearch will run a full AML check with screening for PEPs and sanctions.
The results are received in a matter of seconds, meaning no matter what
time they are working, whether they are in the office, working from home, or
out with a client, all staff can onboard new customers quickly, easily and securely.
From legal and financial firms, to estate agents and accountants,
businesses all over the UK looking to adjust their working practices to enable
staff to work from home when they want to, it is absolutely imperative that
they have an AML system that can keep pace.
With SmartSearch, not only is it possible to run AML checks
remotely, but the checks are quicker, easier, more accurate and more secure than
manual checks, saving regulated firms time and money while offering the flexibility
they need in a hybrid working environment.
*44% of people said they’re ideal working set up would be hybrid
according to LifeSearch’s Health Wealth and Happiness report, compared to 36%
who said 100% office based and 15% who said 100% home based.