RICS Update AML Guide As A Result Of Pandemic
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has announced it has updated it’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) guidelines as a result of the corona virus pandemic.
With money laundering and other serious organised crime believing to cost the UK around £24 billion a year, it’s clear to see why regulations need to be tightened.
The updated guidance includes:
- Recommendations to update AML and bribery risk assessments in light of the economic and business disruption caused by Covid-19;
- Plans on how to counter-act the risk of cyber crime, as criminals potentially pose as solicitors and the like;
- Options to verify clients digitally and extra measures to ensure people are who they say they are;
- Increased checks for high risk transaction;
- Training and staff continuity procedures, to cover employee illness or furloughing;
- Digitisation of all documents to ensure clear auditing trails remain present
Christine O’Rourke, RICS Head of Conduct Standards, said:
“Last year, we set mandatory professional standards following our work with the UK government and Transparency International to educe the risk for the UK property market and increase market confidence.
“When money laundering is estimated to account for up to five per cent of global GDP our updated guidance supports RICS professionals to uphold their standards through Covid-19 challenges as they adapt to the new business and economic climate.”
Although the guide ensures regulated firms comply with RICS’ professional standards, it doesn’t provide legal advice on specific obligations. Firms would need to seek advice from a professional who specialises in AML.