Money Laundering Regulations 2017 – what this means to buyers
Changes were made to the Money Laundering Regulations on 26th June 2017 placing a legal requirement on Estate Agents to verify the identity of all buyers at the point any offer has been accepted. We will not be able to enter into any business relationship with buyers, until we have satisfactorily completed this process.
You will need to provide us with approved documents to confirm your name and residency address, and we will need to take copies of these and retain them for a period of 5 years in line with these regulations.
We will discuss with you the documents which we can accept and the process that you will need to follow.
Please understand that we will not be able to issue the Sale Memorandum until we have completed this process.
Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs)
In addition to confirming the identify as referred to above, we are now required to ascertain whether you or any member of your immediate family is classed as a Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs)
Politically exposed persons are persons that are entrusted with prominent public functions, held in the UK or abroad.
Typically, this includes:
· Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers and deputy or assistant ministers
· Members of Parliament or similar bodies
· Members of the governing bodies of political parties
· Members of supreme and constitutional courts and other high-level judicial bodies
· Members of courts of auditors or boards of central banks
· Ambassadors, and high ranking officers in the armed forces
· Members of the administrative, management or supervisory bodies of state owned enterprises
· Directors, deputy directors and members of the board, or equivalent of an international organisation.
The definition includes family members such as spouse, partners, children (of the person and their spouse or partner) and parents and known close associates. Close associates are persons who have:
· Joint legal ownership, with a politically exposed person, of a legal entity or arrangement
· Any other close business relationship with a politically exposed person
· Sole beneficial ownership of a legal entity or arrangement set up for the benefit of a politically exposed person.
Once your offer has been accepted:
· Agents use a variety of terms to confirm an offer has been accepted, but the paperwork is yet to be completed: Under Offer, Sale Agreed, or Sold Subject to Contract which can also be written as SSTC or simply STC, for example.
· Remember that either party can pull out of the contract up until the exchange of contracts, which is when the sale becomes legally binding.
· Should another, higher offer be made and accepted for the property, you are described as being 'gazumped'. This is more common when a lower offer has been accepted.
· Once your offer has been accepted, start working on the next stages as soon as you can.