Real estate agents
As a real estate agent, you are obliged to report unusual transactions to FIU-the Netherlands. This is provided for in the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act (Wwft). You are required to report both completed transactions and transactions that have not yet been completed (intended transactions). This way you contribute to the fight against money laundering, predicate offences and terrorist financing.
When do I report a transaction?
You are required by law to be alert to the transactions and actions of your customers, and to report unusual transactions. As a real estate agent, you know what is usual in your industry. You are therefore best positioned to assess whether a transaction is unusual and may be related to money laundering, predicate offences or terrorist financing. That underlines the importance of your professional judgment.
There are transactions that you should always report, regardless of the circumstances. These are transactions that meet the objective indicators. An overview of all the indicators that help you to assess transactions is given below. In addition, the general guidelines of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice and Security and the guidelines of the Wwft Supervision Office provide pointers on complying with the law. The Wwft Supervision Office is your supervisor and monitors your compliance with your obligations under the Wwft.
What indicators help me to assess transactions?
There are 3 indicators that may apply to real estate agents. They will help you determine whether you should file a report with FIU-the Netherlands. You must always report transactions that meet the objective indicator. For the subjective indicator, it is particularly important that you assess whether a transaction is unusual.
The literal description of the indicators in the Wwft Implementing Decree is given below. Use the codes in front of the indicators when reporting an unusual transaction. If your report is based on a subjective indicator, it is important to include a detailed description of the transaction and explain why you suspect money laundering or terrorist financing.
Objective01 – "It stands to reason that transactions reported to the police or Public Prosecution Service in connection with money laundering or terrorist financing should also be reported to the Financial Intelligence Unit; after all, there is a presumption that these transactions may be related to money laundering or terrorist financing."
Objective07 - "A transaction for an amount of €10,000 or more, paid to or through the institution in cash, bearer cheques, a prepaid payment instrument (prepaid card) or similar means of payment."
Do you believe that a completed or intended transaction meets one or more of these indicators? If so, you are legally obliged to report it to us. Reports based on the subjective indicator could include customers who refuse to identify themselves, who buy and sell a property several times in a short period of time during which the value has risen inexplicably, or customers who split or merge a property for unclear reasons.
Of course, there are many more types of unusual situations. More information about this is given in the practical examples for real estate agents. The examples will give you an idea of what to consider. They help you to better recognize unusual transactions and decide whether you should file a report.
What happens to an unusual transaction?
An institution that has reported an unusual transaction receives an automatic message, i.e. an acknowledgement of receipt. This is important in connection with indemnification. We will investigate this unusual transaction. If we declare the transaction suspicious after investigating it, it is made available to investigative, intelligence and security services. They conduct a further investigation based on their own priorities.