UK: Countrywide Fined As Estate Agents Hit In Money Laundering Crackdown

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UK estate agent Countrywide (CWD.L) has been fined as part of a crackdown on estate agents suspected of failing to report money laundering.

The company, which describes itself as Britain’s biggest property services firm, was forced to pay a £215,000 fine for failing to comply with rules aimed at spotting dirty money.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) revealed the fine after a week of “intelligence-led” action against 50 estate agents across England.

Officials carried out unannounced inspections of dozens of companies suspected of failing to register under money laundering regulations.

35 of the estate agents were in London, as well as five in Leicester, four in South Bucks and Berkshire, three in Greater Manchester and one each in Watford, Wakefield and Wolverhampton.

The security and economic crime minister Ben Wallace said: “Criminals who seek to use this country as a place to launder money should be in no doubt that they have nowhere to hide.

Read the original article here: finance.yahoo.com


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