This page explains why and what we will need from you. If you have instructed a solicitor in the last ten years, you will see that this process works the same way. DC Care is obliged to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations which came into force on 15 December 2007 and have been revised since, the latest in June 2017 to include all Purchasers. The Supervisory Authority is now Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
What is money laundering?
Money laundering is the process by which criminally obtained money or other assets (criminal property) are exchanged for clean money or assets with no obvious link to their criminal origins. It also covers money, however come by, which is used to fund terrorism.
The Money Laundering Regulations require all estate agents or business transfer agents, like DC Care, to put in place checks, controls and procedures in order to anticipate and prevent money laundering or terrorist financing.
Duties of Agents
DC Care must ensure we are aware of and competent in the procedures and observe requirements under the laws relating to money laundering and terrorist financing as far as it impacts estate agents.
Typically we need to collect verified identity details and confirmation of address for EACH of our clients and Purchasers. This required information is as follows:
- full names
- residential addresses
- date of birth
- valid passport, valid photocard driving licence, national identity card, firearms certificate, identity card issued by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland
- or, a government-issued document (without a photo) which includes the customer’s full name and supported by secondary evidence of the customer’s address such as:
- old style driving licence
- recent evidence of entitlement to state or local authority-funded benefit such as housing benefit,
- council tax benefit, pension, tax credit supported by secondary evidence such as:
- a utility bill
- bank, building society or credit union statement
- most recent mortgage statement from a recognised lender
Customers / Purchasers other than private individuals
For customers or purchasers that are not private individuals, such as corporate customers, partnerships, and private companies, we must obtain information that is relevant to that entity such as Company registration number and registered address and evidence that individuals have the authority to act for that entity. It will usually be necessary to establish the beneficial owners of such entities.
Verification of identification must be from reliable independent sources (relevant to that entity type).
How do we identify each beneficial owner/controlling person?
We are required to put in place measures to identify the existence of beneficial owner(s)/partnership and verify the identity of the person controlling it.
Beneficial owners are the individuals who ultimately own or control the customer or on whose behalf a transaction or activity is being conducted.
In the case of bodies corporate and partnerships, a beneficial owner is any individual who:
- owns or controls over 25 per cent of the shares or voting rights or in the case of a partnership, more than 25 per cent of the capital or profits of the partnership, or
- exercises control over the management (perhaps despite not owning the business).
In the case of a trust, the beneficial owner includes:
- individuals with vested (certain) interests in 25 per cent or more of the capital of the trust property
- the class of individuals the trust was set up or operates for (for example ‘homeless persons in London’, ‘deaf and blind persons’, ‘children living in the village of Ambridge’ or ‘A’s children and grandchildren’)
- individuals who exercise control over the trust.
In the case of other legal entities or arrangements which administer or distribute funds, the beneficial owner means:
- individuals who benefit from 25 per cent or more of the entity’s property
- the class of individuals the entity was set up or operates for (see above for trusts)
- individuals who exercise control over 25 per cent or more of the entity’s property.
In the case of an estate of a deceased person in the course of administration, the beneficial owner means:
- the executor (original or by representation) or administrator for the time being of a deceased person in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
- the executor for the purposes of the Executors (Scotland Act) 1900 in Scotland.