Please note that we are subject, in our capacity as real estate professionals, to the anti money laundering and financing of terrorism rules.
We are required pursuant to the directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for money laundering and the financing of terrorism (hereinafter referred to as the "anti money laundering rules") and pursuant to the recent Professional Code of Ethics which applies to our professions, to obtain from our clients a certain number of documents and information which enable us to fulfil our duty of due diligence, concerning the identification of all our clients (and the beneficial owners of the transactions, if applicable), knowledge of their professional, economic and financial situation, together with knowledge of the business relationship (origin and intended use of funds).
The purpose of this booklet is to inform you of the obligations on each of the parties at the time of a (direct or indirect) purchase or sale of real estate or of a business concern in France and to explain to you how we implement our obligations of due diligence pursuant to the anti money laundering rules.
As world leaders in the real estate consultancy sector, we share the values of exemplary conduct and integrity, with the aim of developing continuing relations with each of our clients, based on professionalism and the highest standards of quality and service.
Compliance with the anti money laundering rules in the real estate sector is a means of introducing and reinforcing a relationship of trust and protecting your interests by securing the transactions for which you seek our assistance.
We are grateful for your cooperation.
What are we talking about?
The transposition by France of the 3rd European Directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for money laundering and the financing of terrorism evidenced its determination to consolidate the preventive rules contained in the French Monetary and Financial Code (hereinafter the "MFC") in order to make them coherent and bring them into compliance with the recommendations of the FATF (the Financial Action Task Force, the international standard-setter).
Professionals who are subject to these rules are obliged to implement measures of due diligence by means of a risk-based approach, taking account of the degree of exposure of clients, sums and transactions to the threats of money laundering and the financing of terrorism and, if applicable, to declare any suspicions to the TRACFIN service.
Like bankers, notaries and chartered accountants (inter alia), real estate professionals with the status provided for in law n°70-9 dated 2 January 1970 (known as the Hoguet law) are obliged to implement an appropriate system of due diligence which enables them to know their clients, as well as the origin and intended use of funds, in reliance upon written documentary evidence.
Like all those professionals who are affected, we are subject to controls and sanctions. This principle is applied both with regard to the MFC and the Hoguet law. The supervision of the due diligence obligations and the internal procedures required of real estate professionals is carried out by the agents of the French General Directorate for Fair Trading, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF).
What does our duty of due diligence involve?
Pursuant to the provisions of the MFC, our duty of due diligence must be performed before we assist our client with the preparation or execution of a transaction and throughout the business relationship, with updates of the information and documents, if applicable.
In this regard, we have to be fully aware of the identity of our clients and the beneficial owners of the transactions, if applicable, as well as the origin and intended use of the funds.
Pursuant to the anti money laundering law, if a business relationship is with a body corporate, the aforementioned beneficial owners are the individuals on whose behalf a transaction is completed and who hold, whether directly or indirectly, more than 25% of the company's capital or voting rights or who exercise de facto control over the body corporate.
What documents will we have to ask you for?
From the start of the business relationship, we will be obliged to have the following documents:
• ID papers
• Kbis extract dated within the last three months
• Articles of association for the body corporate
• Organisational chart for the group
• List of the beneficial owners of the transaction
• Annual accounts for the most recent financial year or certificate of resources/valuation of assets (on an official filing basis)
We might also have to collect any other information which is required in order to understand the business relationship, your situation and, if applicable, the beneficial owner.
Why are you affected?
If we are not able to collect the information requested, the MFC obliges the professional not to establish or pursue the business relationship.
Your cooperation is necessary in order to enable us to perform our duty of due diligence. For this purpose, we ask you to provide us with the information concerning you, the funds and the transaction, in particular.
We will also endeavour to secure the, transactions which we assist you with by requesting similar information from your future contracting partners, as required by the anti money laundering rules.
We undertake only to ask you for the information and documents required by law. However, if you are aware of other relevant information, we would be grateful if you could mention it.
What do we do with the information and documents which are sent?
We take all steps to ensure the confidentiality of the information and documents which you provide us with.
The personal data which we collect may be electronically processed for the purposes of managing your affairs. Pursuant to law n°78-17 dated 6 January 1978, as amended, on data protection, affected individuals have a right of access, objection and correction with regard to their data.
If you have any questions or encounter any difficulties, please contact your usual contact person or your legal/compliance department.
Below you will find additional information on the anti money laundering law by using the following links:
• Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and Council dated 26 October 2005 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for money laundering and the financing of terrorism
• Order n° 2009-104 dated 30 January 2009 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for money laundering and the financing of terrorism (consolidated version dated 27 October 2015)
• Guidelines from the French General Directorate for Fair Trading, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control and Tracfin on the implementation by those profession¬als listed in 8° of Article L.561-2 of the French Monetary and Financial Code, of their obligations with regard to the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism
• Newsletter from Tracfin dated October 2015 – the due diligence obligations of those professionals who are subject to the anti money laundering and financing of terrorism rules
• FATF-GAFI – Financial Action Task Force
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