AML marches into the 21st century

Martin Cheek

November 11, 2019

Martin Cheek (pictured) managing director, SmartSearch

The 5th European Anti-Money-Laundering Directive (5MLD) will come into full force in January, and preparations are gathering pace – or at least they should be.

The UK has said it will implement the requirements regardless of where we are with Brexit by then, so work done to get ready will not be wasted.

Increasingly, national governments are looking to co-operate not just at EU level but on a global scale to combat the damage done by money laundering. In this respect we can expect to see regulation continue in sync.

It may seem only the blink of an eye since we were talking about the 4th Directive but businesses – especially those operating in key affected sectors such as the property market – need to be aware of the changes 5MLD will bring, and how their anti-money laundering (AML) strategy needs to adapt.

Perhaps the biggest change is that the latest directive sees AML march into the 21st century with an – arguably belated – attempt to catch up with new technologies.

Would-be money launderers have not been standing still so attempts to stop them in their tracks need to move with the times too.

One of the biggest dangers comes from the use of falsified or fake ID documents, and this presents a particular risk in the property sector.

For the first time, 5MLD will mandate electronic identification checks wherever possible, to combat this growing threat.

That means businesses will need to have systems in place to make that possible.

The good news is that it doesn’t need to be hard, and it doesn’t need to take up valuable time and resource, to stay on the right side of these new requirements.

SmartSearch has a sole focus on AML and partners with leading data providers to ensure that we – and by extension, our clients – can keep pace with what the regulations demand.

And a good electronic platform can deliver comprehensive and fully compliant AML checks for individual and corporate clients in seconds rather than hours.

Even if it weren’t for the imminent change in the law, it would make sense to switch to a process that can save you time and money and that leaves you free to get on with your day job.

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