OFT fines Leicester-based estate agent almost twelve thousand pounds

The OFT, in its first formal Regulatory penalty, has fined Leicester-based IPS Estate Agents Limited £11,844 for failing to comply with anti-money laundering regulations.

IPS failed to comply with a number of requirements under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, including those relating to:

  • verifying the identity of customers
  • keeping appropriate records
  • ensuring that relevant staff are aware of the law relating to money laundering and terrorist financing
  • establishing and maintaining appropriate, risk-sensitive policies and procedures.

The failures relate to the period between March 2010 and October 2011. The OFT visited IPS premises to check compliance with the Regulations in June 2011 and again in October 2011.

From the scope of the failures for almost all major areas of compliance to the Regulations you can almost conclude that virtually no compliance of any weight was conducted by the firm with no appropriate management policies and procedures for risk management and the subsequent communication and training of any policies to staff members to fulfill their obligations.

Kate Pitt, OFT Deputy Director of Anti Money Laundering, said:

‘This fine sends out a message to all estate agents that they need to have appropriate measures in place to prevent their business from being used for money laundering or terrorist financing purposes.’

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