On 30th May, Minter Ellison in the US published an article which says that with the help of traditional and social media, NGO are becoming a growing force in governance. Companies are advised to monitor NGO activities, and be prepared to respond strategically in order to limit potential costs to their business. NGO are increasingly targeting companies, advocating on behalf of employees, consumers, supply chain workers, local communities or other corporate stakeholders (including ‘the environment’). For example, NGO may campaign to improve social justice and equality, to reduce poverty, promote sustainable development, or to protect or promote human (including social and economic) rights. Another name for these organisations is ‘civil society’, a term used to describe the various groups working in the interest of citizens but operating outside of the government and private sectors.
On 29th May, Bright Line Law published an article by Jonathan Fisher QC which discusses the circumstances of 6 unusual money laundering cases arising in the context of estate agents and the UK property market. These included 3 cases involving PEP. It mentions that the NCA considers the number of suspicious activity reports made by estate agents to be “relatively low” and HMRC has been imposing substantial fines on estate agents for failing to comply with anti-money laundering legislation. The most serious contravention will involve a failure to spot suspicious circumstances, and the message is clear. Property professionals must keep their eyes peeled not only for obvious signs of money laundering but also for more subtle indications.