The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017
The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017, along with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Terrorism Act 2000 and Criminal Finances Act 2017, provides legislation in the UK in relation to anti-money laundering obligations and requirement to counter financing of terrorism.
The 2017 Regulations require estate agents to now carry out due diligence on both a purchaser and a seller. Furthermore, a selling agent is required to verify a purchasing agent's identity and their authority to act on behalf of the purchaser. Similarly, a purchasing agent is required to verify the selling agent's identity and their authority to act on behalf of the seller.
Failure to comply with the Regulations can result in an unlimited fine and a prison term of up to two years.
The latest version of clicktopurchase® provides a unique technological solution to assist parties in meeting the obligations imposed by the 2017 Regulations. Actions are recorded in a tamper-proof electronic audit trail.
You may find the Government's Guidance Note for Estate Agency Businesses to be of assistance. We also refer you to guidance issued by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Please note that the responsibility to adhere to the requirements of the 2017 Regulations remains with the parties (buyers, sellers, agents, solicitors) involved in the transaction and is not the responsibility of clicktopurchase®. We recommend that you seek independent professional advice in relation to these obligations.
Verifying Buyers and Bidders
Before a Bidder can submit a clicktopurchase® offer on behalf of a Buyer, they must first be verified to accord with identity and financial requirements.
The clicktopurchase® verification process provides a smooth workflow for meeting the obligations imposed.
A. Buyer Identity Clearance
A Bidder will complete an online verification form.
Figure: The verification form to be filled in by the Bidder
This will send an email to the Solicitor acting on behalf of the Buyer.
Figure: The email showing that a verification form has been completed
Figure: The Money Laundering Certificate sent to the solicitor
A Buyer’s Solicitor is required to complete the Money Laundering Certificate and return it to the Selling Agent. We recommend that the Selling Agent checks that the Solicitor is listed at the Law Society website.
clicktopurchase® provides the flexibility for a Selling Agent to upload additional verification documentation at the point a property is published.
Figure: The dashboard area showing the extra verification documentation option
Figure: The email showing that a verification form has been completed with additional verification wording.
As a consequence, when the online verification form is completed by a Bidder, both the clicktopurchase® Money Laundering Certificate and the additional specific document are automatically issued.
B. Bidder Identity Clearance and Authority to Act
A Selling Agent may request through clicktopurchase® information to verify the identity of the Bidder and their authority to act on behalf of the Buyer.
This action is recorded in the Agent's dashboard.
Figure: Dashboard showing area when Selling Agent requests additional information
This action generates an email to the Bidder as shown below.
Figure: The email showing that a Selling Agent is requesting further information from the Bidder
C. Financial Clearance
The Agent may choose to undertake appropriate financial checks on the proposed Buyer. This could involve obtaining accounts, references or requesting bank statements. The Agent may decide they wish to use the Initial Deposit Option at this stage.
D. Verification Clearance
When the Selling Agent is satisfied, they confirm in the administration area that the Bidder on behalf of the Buyer has passed the verification process.
Figure: The dashboard area showing verification has been authorised by the selling agent.
The Bidder is able to see the status of their verification.
Figure: The verification pending identity status as visible to the Bidder
Figure: Showing Bidder and their verified status
System emails are sent to the Bidder to confirm the verification process has been completed.
Figure: Email to Bidder confirming that the verification process has been completed
Verifying Seller and Seller's Agent
clicktopurchase® also provides a flow process to assist a Buyer's Agent meet their obligations as required by The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017,
E. Selling Agent Identity Clearance and Authority to Act
When a Bidder completes the online verification form, they will find at the bottom that two non-mandatory selections are available.
Figure: End of verification form
If the first statement is ticked, once the verification form is submitted, an email will be sent to the Bidder confirming the request
Figure: Email to Bidder when Selling Agent identity request is submitted
The Selling Agent receives an appropriate notification
Figure: Email to Selling Agent when Bidder seeks information on the selling agent and authority to act
The request for information also appears in the Agent's dashboard as a pending action
Figure: Agent's dashboard showing the pending verification actions
When the Selling Agent actions "Send my information", a system email is sent to the Bidder.
Figure: Dashboard confirmation at point of sending requested information
Figure: Email sent to Bidder following information request on the selling agent
This email attaches personal identity information the Agent has uploaded to their My Profile, as well as the agency Seller Verification Confirmation which has been uploaded by the Agency Administrator.
F. Seller Identity Clearance
If the second statement at the bottom of the verification form is ticked by the Bidder, once the verification form is submitted, an email will be sent to the Bidder confirming the request.
Figure: Email to the Bidder when information request submitted to conduct due diligence on the seller
The Selling Agent receives an appropriate notification.
Figure: Email to Selling Agent when Bidder seeks information to conduct due diligence on the seller
The request for information also appears in the agent's dashboard as a pending action
Figure: Agent's dashboard showing the pending verification actions
When the Selling Agent actions "Send Seller Information", a system email is sent to the Bidder. We recommend the Selling Agent seeks the Seller's consent before forwarding the information requested.
Figure: Agent's dashboard showing the response to the request for Seller's identity information
The dashboard shows that the information has been dispatched.
Figure: Agent's dashboard confirming the request has been responded to
Figure: Email to the Bidder providing identity information in respect of the Seller
The due diligence information on the Seller is uploaded by the Selling Agent on a per property basis when a property is set up.
Figure: Area of the dashboard where a Seller's identity information is uploaded
Key ways clicktopurchase® helps meet money laundering obligations
- clicktopurchase® provides a unique and easy flow process to enable speedy due diligence on Buyers, along with identity and authority to act confirmations for Bidders.
- The verification process ensures that a Bidder on behalf of a Buyer is verified before an offer has been accepted, and an exchange occurred.
- The clicktopurchase® verification process provides the flexibility to incorporate additional requirements which may be particular to a seller.
- Pre-verification of Bidders and Buyers occurs for whichever sales channel is being adopted for the property in question.
- The clicktopurchase® platform also provides a unique and easy flow process to enable Bidders to complete due diligence on sellers, and complete identity and authority to act checks on selling agents, in a fast and efficient manner.
- The verification process of clicktopurchase® forms part of the tamper-proof encrypted audit trail.
Figure: Extract of a "pdf" generated in the dashboard recording the verification process
All verification actions are recorded in the clicktopurchase® tamper-proof audit trail.