LonRes Acquires Leading Specialist AML Consultancy
30 September 2019
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As part of its ongoing commitment to supporting property professionals, LonRes, the subscription-based business-to-business trading platform, has acquired Financial Crime Services, a leading anti-money laundering (AML) compliance consultancy specialising in residential and commercial real estate.
The Financial Crime Services team come from a law enforcement background in the City Police Force. The company is headed by Managing Director, Jerry Walters, who has over 25 years’ experience of working in financial crime enforcement and is a member of the International Compliance Association specialising in AML and counter terrorist financing.
Financial Crime Services offer a wide range of services which start with a company health check and go on to include compliance and due diligence (CDD) on both domestic and international individuals, trusts and companies; the preparation of policies and procedures; risk assessment; HMRC audit support; best practice internal audits; both general and advanced staff compliance training.
Financial Crime Services currently work with leading property professionals and is the NAEA Propertymark’s chosen provider of AML health checks. For the last two years, they have been the sole supplier of compliance training for NAEA Propertymark members. The services offered by Financial Crime Services are available not just to LonRes subscribers but to anyone working in residential or commercial property who is subject to AML compliance.
The LonRes acquisition comes at a time when HMRC is targeting estate agents as part of a wider money laundering crackdown. In recent guidelines it made clear that they expect agents to put in place controls and procedures to deal with AML and terrorist financing and ensure that they resource it too. For anyone failing to comply there are significant fines to be had.
Commenting, Anthony Payne, Managing Director of LonRes said, “LonRes is committed to helping its subscribers meet its AML obligations. We introduced ResCheck – the mandatory LonRes AML service designed for agents operating in the sub agency market – three years ago and the acquisition of Financial Crime Services is a natural progression from this. AML compliance is both onerous and time-consuming, Financial Crime Services provide a number of options to free up agents to concentrate on what they do best - selling and renting properties.” He added, “This latest acquisition forms part of a wider programme aimed at supporting LonRes subscribers through policy changes to the sector.”
Jerry Walters, Managing Director of Financial Crime Services said, “AML policy is becoming ever more complex and for those who fail to understand it, the fines are large. It is easy to be unwittingly non-compliant, but for HMRC this is no defence.
“Our background in financial crime enforcement gives us a unique understanding of the intricacies of AML policy which in turn enable us to give practical help and guidance to property professionals. The London property market has been ear-marked as a centre for money laundering and our comprehensive services are designed to ensure that businesses are compliant at every level.”