Sanctions a reminder to estate agents to review risk assessment procedures
Recent sanctions against Russia serve as a reminder to estate agents that they must ensure they are going through the process of reviewing all client identity information. If the potential buyer is from a country listed on the financial sanctions register, it could spell trouble for those involved.
This is according to Paul Offley, Compliance Officer at nurtur.group, the parent company of The Guild of Property Professionals and Fine & Country. Offley adds that agents should be checking financial restrictions on a regular basis as part of their Anti-Money Laundering (AML) process.
“With regard to financial restrictions things are moving very quickly, so agents need to apply more frequent on-going monitoring to make sure they are following the correct procedures with the most recent information. If they haven’t already done so in the wake of the current events, agents should be reviewing their initial risk assessment. Be aware that UK Government have taken steps to effect restrictions from undertaking financial transactions involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the Russian National Wealth fund and the Ministry of Russian Finance. It is vital to review all transactions and take the necessary steps if you believe you have a specific case,” says Offley.
He adds that all client identity information should be checked against the UK Sanctions List. “If need be, request additional identity information to ensure you do not have a false-positive identification and you can more accurately rule out the possibly that the individual or entity is from a country on the UK Sanctions List. HM Treasury’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) also provides a consolidated list of all persons and entities that are subject to sanctions which are effective in the UK.”
Offley continues: “If an individual or entity you are dealing with matches the information on the consolidated list, the transaction must be suspended, and the matter should be reported to either your money laundering reporting officer or your money laundering compliance officer.”
Agents will need to keep a record of the fact that they have gone through the correct procedures and performed the appropriate checks.
“Making use of the digital platform such as movebutler from iamproperty will help agents to show the evidence required as part of their compliance with AML procedures. Apart from identifying any potential PEP or financial sanctions positions, these procedures also include identifying the legal owner of a property, a complete risk assessment on all sellers and buyers, appropriate and timely identification checks, and that the agent has kept accurate records. It is important that agents are able to show they have performed their due diligence and taken the necessary steps should they find themselves dealing with an individual or entity that appears on the sanctions list,” Offley concludes.
Inventory Base has new winning solution for property and compliance reporting
With compliance increasingly dominating each and every process within the lettings sector; Inventory Base has designed a perfect solution ‘Conditional logic’ which helps property managers and suppliers who are at risk of falling foul of legislation.
Protecting them against missing key information markers, losing valuable data by not capturing it in time or producing insufficient evidence resulting in lost deposit disputes and increased complaints.
Inventory Base is a multi-award-winning software and reporting platform, delivering more functionality, better systems, processes and standardised templates across the property industry.
Their latest innovation – Conditional Logic – is the next step in the revolution of data capture automation for property managers, agents, inventory providers and risk managers not just in the property sector but across all industries.
Conditional Logic will help minimise these risks by working with the user to save time, increase efficiency whilst reducing human error, enabling templates to designate rules and procedures based on data captured during the reporting process.
This innovative upgrade to how property and related reports are utilised will allow managers to set instructions and workflows that react to a specified question and or response, or embed additional behaviour determined by “if this… then that…” rules (IFTTT).
Steve Rad, Managing Director of Inventory Base says: “Proptech is all about adding value, helping rather than hindering, so any new feature or concept must have a range of tangible benefits that simplify or enhance a process or function.
“We’re constantly striving to develop innovative and long-lasting features that make a real difference to our users. This latest development of our software, Conditional Logic, is a real game changer, it saves time spent on admin, it adds intelligence into the reporting process and focuses the user’s ability to deliver time efficiencies both on-site and when back at the workstation.
“But more importantly, it reduces human error by automating information capture and follow-up all while helping to secure the clients confidence in the users data and processes.”
How the system works is clients who use Inventory Base’s service are provided an intelligent, streamlined workflow, and can set required fields, photos and videos. Then depending on the response captured, prompt for additional comments or photographic evidence. Also show or hide sections within the report when certain options are selected so only relevant, required inputs are shown. Keeping the users workflow specific, organised and time efficient.
The service is universal as clients can automate follow up actions: create action reports to manage urgent repairs or issues. Instantly collect and share data such as fire safety alarms results, property keys, sensor data for emissions or any other vital and or useful information.
It allows the export of information back to the property or to third party systems. Reducing the need for training as the user is guided throughout the reporting process.
Steve Rad, Managing Director of Inventory Base further comments: “We’re excited to see the multitude of ways it will be used. With the introduction of Conditional Logic, users (clients) will be able to increase the flexibility, consistency and ease-of-use of reporting and information capture with templates that add even more customisation, without the need for additional manual input. All this enables users to simplify training and management of staff and concentrate on revenue generating tasks, rather than being bogged down by costly and time consuming, outdated processes.”
Andrew Stanton is the founder of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.