Fleet News

New money laundering regulations may hit auction companies

PROPOSED amendments to laws designed to control money laundering could have a major impact on the motor auction industry, experts warn.

Under the proposals set out in a European Directive, businesses accepting more than £10,000 in cash for goods or services could be in for increased administrative burdens.

If the UK complies with the EU directive, companies that handle 'high priced goods', which will include motor vehicles, may be subject to regulation similar to that imposed on other firms and credit and financial institutions.

These organisations are currently required to maintain approved systems for staff training, customer identification, record-keeping, monitoring and reporting.

Fleet Auction Group chief executive officer Andrew Walker warned there would be a number of costs associated with compliance procedures.

He said: 'Although the annual fee proposed is minimal, the additional administrative workload will have to be paid for from somewhere. In the remarketing business, it means it is either absorbed by the auction company or is reflected in increased commissions or buyers' premiums.'

Walker said the Fleet Auction Group adopted a 'no-cash policy' from its first days of trading.

'This was primarily to ensure that we were only ever dealing with professional, bona fide buyers and sellers and is part of our commitment to due diligence. The proposals will not therefore affect us, but auctions still accepting large amounts of cash in settlement could be in for a bit of a shock.'

The proposed expansion of the regulated sector is an attempt to cut down the process of criminally acquired money being turned into high priced goods ready for sale.

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