First AML partners with RICS to support surveyors and alleviate AML compliance concerns
First AML, the global scale up which streamlines the entire anti-money laundering (AML) onboarding and compliance process, has announced a partnership with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), to provide chartered surveyors with a tailored AML solution across the United Kingdom, Australia (pending Tranche 2) and New Zealand.
With the partnership, First AML will reduce the burden of AML compliance while simultaneously strengthening AML safeguards. It will enable RICS’s 134,000+ professionals to navigate AML compliance processes with efficiency and security, enhancing the integrity of their operations.
Conventional AML processes can be complex, time-consuming, and detract from revenue-generating activities. First AML aim to alleviate these burdens through this solution, which saves time while ensuring robust compliance. With First AML’s platform, verification, record-keeping and complex ownership structures can be promptly addressed, ensuring high verification rates and a streamlined process. This collaboration provides a comprehensive AML verification and workflow management platform that consolidates all compliance needs for customer identification, auditing and data storage.
For example, Flude Property Consultants (a member of RICS) selected First AML to support its AML efforts in 2022. As a result, Flude witnessed a reduction in time spent on administrative tasks and a reassured sense of compliance. The positive impacts of this collaboration bear significant relevance for all RICS members with AML obligations, pointing towards a broader applicability and benefit of the partnership.
First AML’s commitment to its clients is mirrored by RICS’ dedication to support and advise firms in the industry. RICS’ global recognition as an influential policy and standards advisor will ensure the positive impact of the work in this space is amplified.
Lorella Paterson, International Markets Director – Professional Products at RICS, commented, “AML compliance is important for us as a regulator and an area of concern for many of our firms. This partnership with First AML provides an option based on a wealth of industry knowledge to help our members address their concerns.”
Simon Luke, UK Country Manager at First AML, added, “We are proud to be partnering with RICS to provide direct support to its members, helping them to navigate the complexities of AML compliance. Our objective is not only to safeguard their operations, but also to significantly reduce the AML burden, allowing RICS firms to focus on their core professional services. We are here to add value to their work, enhancing their service delivery to consumers and businesses alike.” For more information on the partnership, visit here.
About First AML First AML streamlines the entire anti-money laundering onboarding and compliance process. Backed by real expertise, its cloud-based KYC passport allows complex entities to share their verification across multiple companies and geographies. Making an otherwise complex and manual onboarding process simple for clients and cost effective and compliant for businesses, First AML delivers efficiency and time savings, protecting reputations, and enabling companies to be on the right side of history in the face of global threats.
About RICS Everything we do is designed to effect positive change in the built and natural environments. Through our respected global standards, leading professional progression and our trusted data and insight, we promote and enforce the highest professional standards in the development and management of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. Our work with others provides a foundation for confident markets, pioneers better places to live and work and is a force for positive social impact.
A property withdrawal process protects both consumer and agent
Property withdrawals are something most estate agents will come across in their career with sellers deciding that they want to change agents or withdraw their property from the market. When this happens, what should the agent do to protect themselves from a compliance point of view?
According to Paul Offley, Compliance Officer at The Guild of Property Professionals, the first point to check would be the agency agreement to make sure that the notice being given is in accordance with what is stated in the terms of business. “Ideally, the agent should receive the notice to withdraw the property in writing or by email so that there is a documented date that the notice was received. From the date that the notice is received, there would normally be a notice period, whether that is 14 days or whatever the agreed upon number of days would be. Unless otherwise instructed, during the notice period the agent should continue to market the property in accordance with what has been set out in the agreement,” advises Offley.
He notes that when the agent reaches the actual date of withdraw, it is important that the agent confirms the withdrawal in writing or by email to seller, stating that they will no longer be acting on behalf of the seller from that particular date.
“A key element that should be included in the confirmation to the seller is a list of all interested parties that the agent has introduced and therefore would be liable to claim a fee if they go on to purchase the property. This is crucial because if the seller decides to go back onto the market with another agent, and one of those interested parties ends up buying the property, the list will strengthen the original agent’s case for claiming their fee. If the original agent can demonstrate that at the time of withdrawal, they provided a clear indication of the buyers they introduced, this would help them to claim their fee. This also helps prevent the seller from facing a dual fee position,” Offley comments.
He adds that with data protection laws and the disclosure of personal information, the list must not contain the potential buyer’s contact details, but simply their name and the date that they viewed the property, as this should provide sufficient evidence.
“Another thing I would recommend that agents include in the letter to their sellers, is a note advising them that they should provide the list of potential buyers to any other estate agent they instruct in the future. Again, this will help the agent to strengthen their case for claiming their fee, should one of those buyers purchase the home,” says Offley.
This is all about transparency and ensuring the seller is fully aware of what they agreed to when they signed the contract, as well as any financial consequences of withdrawing the property. Helping provide this clarity contributes towards raising standards in our profession,” Offley concludes.
Andrew Stanton is the founder and CEO 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 and editor of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.