The risks of bribery, corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing cut across our profession, regardless of geography or industry specialism.
To help the profession identify and manage these risks, we have published a professional statement on Countering Bribery and Corruption, Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.
This professional statement sets out mandatory requirements for IBSP members and IBSP-regulated firms in relation to bribery, corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing. This took effect from 1st September 2019.
It is divided into three parts:
- Mandatory requirements for anti-bribery and corruption and for anti-money laundering and terrorist financing.
- Guidance setting out supporting good practice regarding each of these areas.
- Supplementary guidance on some key concepts described in parts 1 and 2.
This professional statement applies globally and to all IBSP members and IBSP-regulated firms involved in work where the potential for such activity exists. If the statement contradicts local legislation then the legislation takes precedence.
Our global responsibility to counter money laundering
The purchase of property has the potential to be used by organised criminals to launder the proceeds of criminal activity. This is due to the large number of criminal funds which can be “cleaned” 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 profession needs to work with governments, supervisors and law enforcement agencies to ensure our industry is viewed by criminals as a hostile destination for money laundering. As the profession’s regulatory, RICS takes robust action against those who fail to act with integrity, as well as reporting such issues to law enforcement agencies.
This is not only in the interest of the public, but also in the interest of professionals, who want to ensure that the reputation of their profession is maintained. Therefore, it is important that RICS-accredited professionals and firms understand their obligations under Rule 3 of the RICS Code of Conduct and, where applicable, statutory obligations under local legislation, such as ‘The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017)’ in the UK.
It is also important that the profession takes a leading role in ensuring that business interactions with the built environment are transparent and serve the public good. Unfortunately, real estate is an often-overlooked element of the global responsible business agenda. That is why we have been working with the United Nations Global Compact to identify the most critical issues facing companies with a stake in land, real estate and construction in relation to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
With our profession impacting – either directly or indirectly – most of the SDGs and with its cross-sectoral reach, we can be a powerful driver for making the SDGs a reality, and contribute to a safe, sustainable and transparent built environment.