Anti-money laundering revision: our response to the Commission

Anti-money laundering is a very important subject for the real estate sector. The Commission is working on a revision of the current anti-money laundering Directive (known as the 3rd AML Directive). On 11 April it published a report on its application, containing a number of considerations relevant to the revision. Responses were invited to be sent before 13 June. CEPI, jointly with CEI, the Confederation of Real Estate Agents, just sent its contribution, focusing on our key concerns  (see our publications section).

In our response we focus on a number of points:

• The 3rd AML Directive contains an exemption when a financial activity is carried out on an occasional or very limited basis and where there is little risk of money laundering or terrorist financing occurring. We think this exemption can be useful in the real estate sector and we would like it to be kept.

• There are special rules about checks to be carried out on pooled accounts which we would like to be applied to the real estate sector. We also want to be clear about how third party reliance (relying on checks by other professionals) could be used more effectively in the sector to avoid duplication of work and reduce costs.

• The 3rd AML Directive allows certain sectors to oversee compliance with the terms of the Directive by way of self-regulation. We support the extension of this to the real estate sector on a voluntary basis, so that professional bodies which meet the requirements could take on the task if they wish to do so. 

• Estate agents need to be certain as to what checks they have to carry out and on which parties. That means identifying the client. Depending on the country that client can be the seller, buyer, or both. We think that the best way to be clear about this is to say that the estate agent’s client is the person who finally pays the estate agent.

The Commission will now prepare an impact assessment and is expected to publish a proposal for the revision of the Directive in autumn 2012. 

Find out more on the revision