Back in July 2009 the OFT opened registration for certain categories of business that need to register with the OFT and who will be supervised by the OFT under Government anti-money laundering regulations. These regulations aim to reduce the possibility of legitimate businesses being used for money laundering or terrorist financing. Relevant businesses have had until 31 January 2010 to be on the OFT register.

The categories of business that should have registered are:

  • Consumer Credit Financial Institutions (CCFI) – these are organisations involved in consumer credit lending activities which are not authorised by the FSA or supervised by HMRC as a money service business; and
  • Estate Agents – these include residential and commercial estate agencies, relocations agents and property finding services.

Carrying on a business as a CCFI or an estate agent after 31 January 2010 without being registered is a criminal offence and could result in prosecution.