SmartSearch, the leading UK anti-money-laundering (AML) firm, has recorded its busiest ever month in September, with record revenues, profits and number of new clients.
The firm, based in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, says this is due partly to the increasing threat of money laundering and financial fraud from organised crime gangs, which are taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis.
It says the property market is particularly vulnerable to attempts at money laundering, with the rush to buy sparked by the stamp duty holiday announced in July putting ‘huge pressures’ on the system which criminals are able to exploit.
In September, SmartSearch saw revenues up by 55% to £1.34 million for the month, while profits rose by 200% compared to September 2019, and the company onboarded 90 new customers.
Chief executive officer John Dobson says it is no surprise that more businesses are looking for the solutions at this time.
He adds: “This year has seen some impressive growth for the business, not only in the UK but in Europe and the United States where we opened our first office last month.”
“Property purchases remain one of the most effective methods for criminals to launder the proceeds of their activities. So, it is incumbent upon all parties operating in that process to ensure they are protected against that threat, and to comply with the regulations. The consequence of non-compliance is not only the threat of a hefty fine from the FCA, but it also legitimises criminal activity.”