Countrywide fined £215,000 re overlooking Money Laundering
UK estate agency brand Countrywide has been reported to have received a fine of £215,000 following failing to comply with the rules set for spotting dirty money – This follows an intensive programme from the government (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs) looking to take action against money laundering within the industry.
Unannounced inspections have taken place across the country with apparently further estate agencies having been caught out.
“35 of the estate agents were in London, as well as five in Leicester, four in South Bucks and Berkshire, three in Greater Manchester and one each in Watford, Wakefield and Wolverhampton.” Full story can be read on the Yahoo Finance website.
Security and economic crime minister Ben Wallace was reported as saying: “Criminals who seek to use this country as a place to launder money should be in no doubt that they have nowhere to hide.
Estate agents are a crucial line of defence against them and that’s why they’re under a legal – and moral – obligation to file a report when they spot something amiss.”
Countrywide were reported as saying: “Countrywide has conducted a full review of its anti-money laundering controls and has taken thorough measures to strengthen the processes that support and monitor compliance throughout the business.”