An independent Audit is required by all Real Estate Agents, High Value Dealers and High Risk Dealers.

Background

Earlier this week the Gibraltar Government issued a press release. In conclusion, the Office of Fair Trade (“OFT”) issued a £5,000 fine to an undisclosed Real Estate Agent. This was due as a result of failing to meet their anti-money laundering obligations.

The OFT is tasked with monitoring compliance with the Proceeds of Crime Act (“POCA”) in respect of Real Estate Agents as well as High Value Dealers. There are guidance notes in both these areas. These can be found here (REA) and here (HVD/HRD).  These relate to large cash payments in any currency with a value greater than or equal to £8,000. It also sets strict requirements in respect of customer due diligence and record keeping for all cash transactions of £1,000 and over.

Definitions

The OFT guidance notes define High Value Dealers, Potential High Value Dealers and High Risk Dealers. High Risk Dealers include dealers in precious metals and stones, like diamonds and gold, car and motorcycle dealers, marine craft dealers and antiques and arts dealers.  

Considerations

If you are a Real Estate Agent or a High Value Dealer, a Potential High Value Dealer or a High Risk Dealer, are you satisfied that you are aware of and meeting the requirements set out in the guidance notes issued by the OFT.  Are you confident that your policies and procedures are fit for purpose, that your staff are fully aware and complying with these and that your teams have appropriate and relevant training to deal with the requirements.

The OFT’s guidence note requires there to be an independent audit function to test your policies and ensure they are appropriate.

If you have any questions on, or just want to talk about, any of the above, we at TAG Consultancy will be happy to discuss these issues with you and provide you with any help you may need.

You may also find further information on our Compliance services here.

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