Compliance, ‘Know your client’ or Customer Due Diligence.
The latest update to the Anti-money laundering laws have been published which requires estate agents to undertake even more checks on both buyers AND sellers before entering a business relationship. The penalties for not doing so are draconian – fines and prison are both threatened so I need to ask for help to ensure that we have complied.
Rather than meeting, taking fresh copies of original documents and asking impudent questions we use an App called ThirdFort, recommended by Mishcon de Reya and which you download to your mobile phone. It takes three minutes to complete. All you will need is some ID which, depending on your country will be one of the following;-
- Driving license
- National ID card
- Residents permit
Proof of address and of finances is dealt with inside the App. [Please note, the app was designed for estate agents to use to check buyers who would have found a property and agreed a price. We have not yet found somewhere so;
- When asked for Property price enter the max budget you are working to
- When entering stamp duty enter £0
- When asked to provide purchase address please enter your current address.
The questionnaire will then let you account for the funds you are using to purchase a new property.]
Thirdfort works with over 450 law firms, housing developers, estate agents and property agents and processes over 25,000 ID and source of funds checks per month.
They are regulated by the FCA, certified by the UK government cyber security accreditation scheme, ICO registered and GDPR compliant and use state of the art, bank grade encryption so encrypt and secure data.
It is tedious but ridiculously easy to use. We’re sorry to ask for this but we hope that this technology is the easiest way to satisfy the State and keep us out of jail!
If you get stuck or have any questions and if we can’t answer them then ThirdFort can do so direct. There is a phone number within the app which should be 0203 948 1271 – speak to Adam, Lydia or Peter who will make it work (or who will answer to us!).
All we need to do is to trigger a text message to be sent to your mobile.