More women being flagged during AML compliance checks in property industry

More women being flagged during AML compliance checks in property industry

Matthew Miller
Authored by Matthew Miller
Posted: Tuesday, June 28, 2022 - 16:22

More women being flagged during AML compliance checks in property industry

Credas Technologies, the leading anti-money laundering checks provider, has revealed that the number of female homebuyers and sellers has surged in recent years, as they now account for over half of all AML market activity seen across the industry on an annual basis. 

As the leading companies when it comes to AML compliance within the property industry, the internal data from Credas not only provides insight on the industry from an AML compliance standpoint, but it also provides additional market insight, such as the gender of those looking to buy or sell a property within the UK.

The latest figures show that so far in 2022 (Jan-May), female buyers make up 51% of all AML checks within the property sector, the third consecutive year where women have accounted for a larger proportion of AML activity than men. 

Prior to 2020, the data from Credas shows that women only accounted for just over a third (33%) of AML checks carried out across the UK property sector. 

However, when it comes to those being approved during the AML process, it’s men that remain more likely to be approved, accounting for 51% of all AML approvals so far in 2022 having also accounted for the majority of AML approvals every year since 2018. 

In contrast, 54% of those flagged during the AML process so far in 2022 have been female.

This increase is likely due to the sheer increase in market activity seen in recent years, with almost a million mortgages being approved in 2021 - a 127,126 annual increase.

At the same time, the level of mortgage loans being issued to joint applicants has also increased, accounting for 59.8% of the total market in 2021, versus 58.8% the year before.

Tim Barnett, CEO of Credas Technologies says 

“There’s been a very clear rebalancing of the playing field in recent years where the proportion of AML market activity by gender is concerned. This is no doubt the result of heightened market activity as a whole, but also due to an increase in the number of joint mortgage applications being made. 

Of course, an increase in the volume of female buyers and sellers being checked is naturally going to increase the number of those being flagged for AML discrepancies.

However, there is one very common cause that’s seeing proportionally more females flagged during the AML compliance process when compared to their male counterparts. 

All too often, female buyers and sellers who are transacting alongside a partner are submitting documentation with an incorrect name. This can act as an automatic red flag when it comes to verifying their identity. 

So before setting out to buy or sell, it’s a good idea to check all of your identification documents, inform the electoral roll of any name change and update your bank and any other credit agreements you have in place. 

While it’s certainly not a money laundering offence in itself, it can delay the already lengthy, protected process of a property transaction.”