RICS Publishes Guidance on Countering Bribery, Corruption and Money Laundering
RICS has published a series of statements relating to the interrelated issues of bribery and corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing, which it says “cut across our profession, regardless of geography or industry specialism”.
The institution’s stated aim in providing the guidance on these matters is to help chartered surveyors worldwide to identify and manage the risks of encountering unlawful or otherwise rogue activities in the course of their professional lives.
Statements given outline a series of mandatory requirements that will come into effect from September 1st 2019 and will apply to all RICS members and RICS-regulated firms on a global basis from that time.
However, if there are any local laws that contradict any of RICS’ statements in any particular parts of the world then the institution has said that that relevant legislation should take precedence.
On the subject of money laundering specifically, RICS points out that property purchases have the potential to be used by organised criminals to launder funds illegally acquired because these processes can effectively ‘clean’ significant sums of money from various sources in a single transaction.
“It is therefore critical that all professionals working in the sector are acutely aware of the issues and appropriately trained to identify and report any suspicions of money laundering,” the latest statements given by RICS explain.
RICS has also published a two-page document that can be downloaded online and that contains lists of “red flag indicators” of potential money laundering activities.
The organisation says that its profession needs to work closely with governments, supervisors and law enforcement agencies to effectively send a message to criminals that the property industry is consistently hostile to money laundering and any associated activities.
RICS has also said that it hopes to see the role of real estate organisations and the industry as a whole come to be more greatly appreciated on an international basis as playing a key role in efforts aimed at promoting responsible business agendas.
It is “important that the profession takes a leading role in ensuring that business interactions with the built environment are transparent and serve the public good,” RICS has said, adding that it is now working with the United Nations’ Global Compact organisation with those aims in mind.