Like all Estate Agents now, our agency is subject to the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 which aims to counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism. We have a legal duty to obtain identification and proof of address from all our customers, who include homeowners seeking to sell their property, buyers, landlords who wish to rent out their property and tenants. We’re also obliged to ascertain whether other beneficial owners are involved on whose behalf the transaction or activity is taking place.
Wellingtons has adopted a risk sensitive approach throughout our business, to recognise and prevent fraudulent transactions. We use a criteria-based system in order to assess the risk of money laundering.
Our agency invests heavily in training staff on Anti Money Laundering Legislation which is also covered in our induction course and reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that any potential new or amended legislation is adhered to. We have our own nominated Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) and Deputy Officer. It is the responsibility of the MLRO to receive and action reports of suspicious behaviour and activity and to complete and submit a “Suspicious Activity Report” (SAR) to the National Crime Agency when necessary. Our nominated officer is Lucy Egan.
In order to alleviate the risk of attempted money laundering through our company, we carry out “Customer Due Diligence” (CDD). All landlords, tenants, vendors and buyers must be identified fully by providing a photographic ID and proof of address. For Landlords and Sellers, we also require proof of ownership. All the original documents must be witnessed by a member of staff with a picture of ID taken and copies retained. In cases where seeing an original ID is not possible, copies must be certified by a solicitor or at the post office. Verification checks must be completed on all individuals who have a vested interest in the transaction. For sending payments of rent, we will require the bank account to be in the customer’s name. Subject to your individual circumstances, we may liaise with you for further/other documentation.
Our agency requires one document from List A and one from List B from all customers. Where applicable, please ensure that documents include full name(s), service addresses and account numbers and are not provided in the form of general correspondence.
List A – Identity Document
List B – Proof of Address
List C – Proof of Ownership
List C – Probate
If you are acting as a representative of an estate, we require the following:
If you are acting as a representative of a UK Company, we will also require the following:
If you are acting as a representative of an Offshore Company, we will also require the following:
If you are acting as a Representative of a Trust we require the following:
At any given stage of a transaction, should we feel there are reasonable grounds on which to suspect that money laundering or terrorist financing is taking place, whether it be in relation to information received or any other aspect of the sale or let, we are legally obliged to report and submit a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) to the National Crime Agency (NCA) at nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk.
Suspicious activity may include:
We will check against the HM Treasury consolidating sanctions list to determine those who may be a politically exposed person (PEP), also carrying out adverse media (negative news) screening via searching the public information domain, where news items, publications, and other print or electronic records exist i.e. completing a google search and to document the assessment and the rationale behind any decisions made, ensuring news is from a reputable source.
In relation to record keeping and the data stored for all customers, this will be reviewed regularly by our data controller who will determine whether there is a continued requirement for the business to hold such information. To work in compliance with the regulations, we shall keep records and supporting records on file for the current tax year plus five years following the date of the most recent transaction with our company.