The ARP is the professional body for experts in UK relocation. For over 30 years we have been championing higher standards within our industry as well as representing our members in an ever-changing sector, seeking to promote excellence, communicate changes and lobby the Government and other authorities for betterment in terms of current and future legislation.
This Response, on behalf of our members, is not directly concerned with the question of the current or future supervisory regime. Rather, we wish to draw to your attention the unnecessary and unfair targeting of UK relocation companies under the current AML rules.
The ARP fully understands the requirement for solicitors, estate agents and letting agents to carry out identity checks on their clients (and other parties) and to check the source of funds. However, in recent years, British relocation businesses have been pulled into the UK’s AML compliance regime. At first it was only relocation firms which carried out home finding services for buyers which were affected; then, more recently, rental home searches were covered for firms which – even occasionally – find tenancies with rents exceeding 10,000 euros per month.
If a UK relocation business falls into either of these categories, then it is illegal to carry on business without registering with HMRC for money laundering supervision. The business must also put in place a variety of burdensome processes and documents, all of which are enforced by audit visits from HMRC. This “red tape” includes:
This heavy administrative burden which has been placed on relocation companies is:
The Association of Relocation Professionals calls for the removal of relocation businesses from the unnecessary burden of full AML regulation.