HMRC has launched an unannounced crackdown on money laundering regulation non-compliance by estate agents. This clampdown resulted in over 50 visits by HMRC staff to estate agents across England that were suspected of trading without being registered as required under money laundering regulations.
This crackdown includes targeting those who are trading without registering appropriately as well as those who may not be meeting their obligations in line with the money laundering regulations. One of the estate agents visited was fined £215,000.
Commenting on the campaign, John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said:
'The vast majority of estate agents play by the rules and help us to crack down on dirty money. But I have zero tolerance for firms prepared to turn a blind eye to the law. Money laundering regulation exists to help protect honest business, so anyone who flaunts the law should know that swift action will be taken.'
HMRC is responsible for supervising a number of business types including Estate Agency Businesses to ensure that they register for anti-money laundering supervision. HMRC supervises more than 11,000 residential and commercial estate agents across the UK. This announcement by HMRC suggests that any estate agency businesses that have fallen through the cracks should ensure that they are properly registered and compliant as a matter urgency.