The Week Of: February 3, 2020

This week’s news and stories of interest to the AML community. If you prefer a news roundup sent to you, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

UK estate agents admit anti-money laundering failings

Forty percent of estate agents in the UK do not take annual anti-money laundering training as required, according to new research.

In addition, a quarter of estate agents are aware of a firm that faced AML fines and 40% of those admitted to no changes being made following an HMRC penalty.

Less than half (46%) of estate agents believe that AML regulations are fully understood and implemented cross the country.

Ben Ridgway, group managing director at iamproperty, said: “This research has given us a revealing new insight into the understanding of and adherence to the increasing regulatory burden facing estate agents.”

The 5th AML Directive, which went into effect in January, brought more regulatory responsibilities to the estate industry, including enhanced due diligence efforts, and brought into scope as an “obligated entity” agents who lease properties where monthly rent is €10,000 or more.

Read more at Property Wire.

Colorado seeks to help bank cannabis companies

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis this week introduced plans that he hopes will entice financial institutions still wary of banking with marijuana related businesses to work with the state’s maturing cannabis industry.

There are currently only a handful of banks and credit unions actively in business with the state’s MRBs. Cannabis is still an illegal Schedule I drug on the federal level, even with the passage of the SAFE Banking Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the regulatory uncertainty has left Colorado’s MRBs with an influx of cash and nowhere to put it.

Gov. Polis’ plan “renews the state’s commitment to creating a regulatory landscape that affords cannabis businesses access to services widely available to other legal industries, while offering financial institutions support to navigate the industry’s federal grey area.”

Read more at the Denver Post.

New AML record-keeping obligations in Canada

An article published by law firm DLA Piper examines the “significant” amendments to record-keeping requirements under Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.

Published last July, the new amendments include:

  • the reporting time for “large” virtual currency transaction records where VC valued at $10,000 or more ‎is received in the same 24-hour period from a person or entity;
  • prepaid product account records, which are those that permit a ‎balance of $1,000 or more, or transactions exceeding $1,000 within 24-hours; and
  • a general expansion in the amount of information a reporting entity must record.

Read more at DLA Piper’s web site.