According to the Financial Services Authority Register, a firm named Eastbourne Financial Services had its authorisation withdrawn on 3 March 2009, after an investigation was carried out into mortgages secured on 500 homes across Southern England.
The Money Laundering Regulations 2007 have now been in force since December 2007 and require firms to take a risk-based approach to compliance. Firms that fail to ensure that their risk assessment and risk management procedures properly address the potential risks that they face are more at risk from criminals seeking to exploit their procedures to launder criminal funds.
With this in mind, Landmark Information Group has recently launched Landmark AML, a cost-effective client due diligence solution that assists in ensuring compliance with the Money Laundering Regulations.
James Sherwood-Rogers, Managing Director of Landmark Legal & Financial said: "Mortgage fraud is a significant issue for solicitors and has clear implications for anti money laundering compliance. It is important that professionals recognise the need for enhanced due diligence to be carried out in high-risk situations, such as where the client does not meet the solicitor, as is the case in many conveyancing transactions. By using a service like Landmark AML, solicitors can be reassured that they are using a system that assists in performing the client due diligence process."
Landmark AML is a comprehensive customer due diligence verification tool that analyses a range of best-of-breed data sources to assist in compliance with AML legislation.
After registering (at no cost) with Landmark AML, advisors can undertake checks on the electronic search system, which provides a full audit trail and carries out both positive and negative checks on the background of clients. These checks include Government databases such as the Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) list; terrorist sanctions files, and persons covered by the far-reaching implications of the US Patriot Act.
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