OFT warns of anti-money laundering registration deadline

OFT warns of anti-money laundering registration deadline


The Office of Fair Trading has warned estate agents and certain consumer credit lenders that they must register under anti-money laundering regulations before 31 January 2010 to avoid breaking the law.

Carrying on business having failed to do so could result in the imposition of a fine by the OFT, a prison sentence, or both.

Money laundering controls help prevent legitimate businesses being used to launder money, which is where cash or assets obtained by criminal activities are exchanged for clean money or assets with no obvious link to their criminal origins.

The OFT supervises estate agents – including residential and commercial estate agencies, relocation agents and property finding services – and consumer credit financial institutions (CCFIs). These supervised businesses are required to put in place policies and procedures to prevent money laundering or terrorist financing, as well as verifying customers’ identities before entering into a business relationship.

John Parker, OFT Director of Anti Money Laundering, said: “The consequences for estate agents and consumer credit financial institutions of not registering under anti-money laundering regulations are severe. It is important that businesses register immediately to avoid breaking the law.”


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