HM Revenue & Customs has revealed that the original Emoov online agency has been fined for breaches of money laundering regulations.
HMRC has a duty to publish details of businesses that do not comply with the regulations, and it did so this month – naming five businesses, one of which was Emoov.
However, this applied to the previous ownership of Emoov which went into administration in December last year; the current owners of Emoov are not involved.
The ‘old’ Emoov was fined £3,721 for breaches described by HMRC as “failures in having the correct policies, controls and procedures and failures in conducting due diligence.”
Three of the other four businesses – personal finance operations – were each fined £500 for failing to provide appropriate paperwork, but a huge £7.8m fine was imposed on Touma Foreign Exchange Ltd for “failures in carrying out risk assessment, having the correct policies controls and procedures, staff training, customer due diligence and record keeping.”
The National Association of Estate Agents has advised agents that it is imperative they comply with their AML obligations.
“It is a legal requirement for all relevant employees to receive anti-money laundering training so they can understand and implement the correct procedures in line with the latest legislation” says a statement from the association.
It says agents must:
– develop a written, up-to-date risk assessment of the location they operate in, their customers and value of transactions;
– prepare a written policy statement and procedures to show how their business will manage the risks of money laundering;
– train and support staff to understand and implement these policies;
– ensure that procedures and audit processes are applied to all branches in or outside the UK;
– appoint a nominated officer (a Money Laundering Reporting Officer) to report suspicious activity to the National Crime Agency; and
– ensure suitable control measures are in place.