Q&As

Do I have to establish the source of funds for every property matter?

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Published on LexisPSL on 21/12/2020

The following Practice Compliance Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Do I have to establish the source of funds for every property matter?

STOP PRESS: Draft Legal Sector Affinity Group (LSAG) AML guidance was published on 20 January 2021. It awaits approval by HM Treasury and any content may be amended before the final version is published with the Treasury's approval. This document reflects HM Treasury approved LSAG AML guidance published in 2018 and will be updated in due course.

The Law Society’s 2010 article, Source of funds: clean or consistent with risk? (based on the now revoked Money Laundering Regulations 2007) says that in many ways, client identification and verification is secondary in anti-money laundering compliance to understanding the source of funds and the purpose of a retainer.

Despite this, there is no blanket requirement in the current Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017), SI 2017/692, as amended by the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/1511, from 10 January 2020, to establish the source of funds for every client and matter. The MLR 2017 do, however, require you to establish the source of funds involved in a transaction:

  1. in relation to ongoing monitoring

  2. when conducting client due diligence (CDD) on politically exposed persons (PEPs)

  3. when conducting CDD in relation to any business relationship with a person established in a high-risk third country or any relevant transaction where either of the parties to the transaction is established in a high-risk third country

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