One of the biggest risks today’s conveyancers face is money laundering and mortgage fraud according to research run by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and around three quarters of firms think that more in depth training would be beneficial in tackling the issues head on.
Over a quarter of the 100 randomly selected firms visited by the regulator last year had directly experienced a client attempting to commit money laundering or fraud and at least three quarters of firms indicated that they need more training on property-related fraud and money laundering. The SRA has warned that such criminal activity does happen often and for firms to be aware.
Unusual financial arrangements/transactions, identity issues, international connections, client behaviour and having no local connections are just some of the warning signs that firms are alert to.
If a suspicion was raised, over a quarter of firms said that they would refuse to represent the client, and would report their concerns to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), the police, or their money laundering reporting officer.
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