Anti-money laundering ‘approvals’ – call to owners, directors and major shareholders to sign up

Anti-money laundering Compliance
Anti-money laundering Compliance

Owners and directors of agency businesses can start signing up to the new anti-money laundering regime next week. They can also expect an increase in mandatory AML fees.

The 2017 Money Laundering Regulations introduced a new requirement for owners and directors of estate agency businesses to be approved. The regime also takes in shareholders who own 25% or more of a business.

No person can be an owner, 25%+ shareholder or director of an estate agency business unless they have been approved by HMRC to hold such a position.

Approval will automatically be granted if the individual has not been convicted of any of the listed offences, but it will be refused if a conviction is registered. There are 35 types of offences listed and they mainly relate to financial matters. You can view the list by clicking here.

Individuals without approval will be banned from holding any of the positions within any estate agency business.

The deadline for this approval is June 26 next year, but HMRC has announced it will open the gate for individuals to apply for approval on November 1.

Currently, the HMRC website does not give any further detail on the application process, but unsurprisingly, it does outline that the charge for obtaining this approval will be £40.

The HMRC announcement also included a statement that fees for estate agents will be increasing as from December 1, with annual renewal fees for each branch rising by 13% to £130.

It has also announced it will be conducting a review on how fees might change in future and will be consulting with agents on this in the New Year.

Yesterday evening, an HMRC spokesperson told EYE: “A new approvals test needs to be undertaken for relevant people in estate agency businesses.”

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