Property Development

Anti-Money laundering for Property Developers and Property Development Firms

Thanks to SmartSearch, it has never been easier for property developers and firms to keep on top of their AML requirements. Our simple, cost-effective all-in-one solution, is constantly being updated to meet the latest regulations, allowing you to focus on your business

Helping property developers get their AML right

The UK property industry has always been at high risk from money laundering due to its low levels of transparency and the fact that anonymous companies and trusts can purchase properties making it difficult to identify who the true owners are. As a result, businesses working within the property sector are often branded the ‘weak link’ in the UK’s money laundering defenses.

One of the key ways in which fraudsters use the UK property market to clean their cash is by providing misleading or false information about their identity, income or other funds and their sources when purchasing a property. Therefore, performing reliable and robust KYC (Know Your Customer) checks on anyone purchasing a property are absolutely vital, and that means property developers and estate agents are the first line of defence when it comes to preventing money laundering.

SmartSearch can help property developers meet their AML obligations, efficiently and affordably. Our award-winning AML solution can verify individuals and businesses – identifying the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) in the most opaque corporate structures - and perform screenings for sanctions and PEPs, at the touch of a button. We can also offer the most advanced and reliable remote solution on the market thanks to TripleCheck. Using the latest biometric technology, we are able to remove the need for property developers and agents to even see clients’ physical documents in order to perform a full check, saving time and resources, and enabling checks to be done with international customers too.

A few areas we can help you with

Know your customer

SmartSearch can quickly and reliably identify and verify individuals and businesses looking to purchase properties to ensure they are who they say they are, and not bad actors committing ID theft or transacting under fake profiles.

Instant approvals

We utilise dual-bureau data from the UK leading data suppliers Experian and Equifax to deliver the highest match-and-pass rate on the market, meaning you can onboard customers in a matter of seconds.

Automatic screening

SmartSearch’s all-in-one system not only identifies and verifies your buyers, but using global watchlists, also automatically screens them for PEPs and sanctions, running enhanced due diligence on any matches.

Biometric technology

Our advanced system uses the latest biometric and OCR technology, enabling you to onboard customers even if you can’t see them face to face. Once you have onboarded a new customer and the result has been uploaded, it is then checked every night for any changes to ensure ongoing compliance.

Check suppliers and customers

Our AML solution can check individuals and businesses all from one place, meaning you can check your customers, suppliers and any other agents you are working with all from one system, which can be accessed remotely via the app, meaning you can run reliable KYC and KYB checks anytime, anywhere.

No need to upgrade

The SmartSearch system has been designed to meet AML regulations, and every time there is a change, it is automatically updated to reflect that, giving you the peace of mind that you will never need to upgrade to stay compliant.

Tailored AML Products For Property Developers and Property Development Firms

From identification and verification, to screening, monitoring and record keeping, we offer the most reliable and robust AML, compliance and fraud prevention solutions on the market and each product in our suite of solutions can be tailored to your firm’s individual compliance needs.

Our cloud-based software can be integrated into your existing systems, making customer onboarding simple and removing the risk of error through re-keying of customer data. We also have a fully integrated SmartSearch app which enables users to run comprehensive checks from any handheld device, delivering a pass or fail result in seconds, so you can onboard customers remotely safe in the knowledge all results will be recorded in the central database.


What kind of property development firms do we work with?

Property Developers
Estate Agents
Landlords/Letting agents
Land and Agriculture
Mortgage Brokers
Commercial Real Estate
Property Management Firms

We work with more than 1,000 property clients, from estate and letting agents, to property development firms, offering the same level of functionality and service no matter what the size of the business.

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SmartSearch is an easy-to-use system which provides us with complete peace of mind that we are fully compliant with the money laundering regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do property developers detect money laundering?

    Money launderers have become so sophisticated in their techniques, that it can be incredibly difficult to spot, but there are a number of red flags to look out for, and for property developers, the main one will be sources of cash. In order to complete the placement and layering stages of money laundering, criminals tend to either break up large sums of dirty cash into smaller amounts in an effort to hide its original source or use shell companies to move larger sums in an attempt to disguise their own identity. So when a client attempts to move a very large sum, or lots of smaller ones – especially if they are using ‘business’ rather than personal accounts - this should be investigated as suspicious.

  • How can property developers prevent money laundering?

    The key way in which property developers can prevent money laundering is to ensure their customer due diligence is absolutely watertight. This means running full AML checks on all clients – individuals and corporates – to ensure they are who they say they are. Individual checks will identify, verify and screen the individual, while a business/corporate check will verify the business, and identify the key people associated with that business, and – importantly - its ultimate beneficial owner. Being able to navigate the opaque and complicated corporate structures financial criminals use to try and hide their activities is absolutely crucial in preventing money laundering, because if an individual has attempted to hide their true identity – and the true source of their funds – through multiple corporate layers and anonymous accounts, you will be able to spot it and stop it.

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