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South Kesteven council tightened the anti-money laundering controls over questions raised by buyers in the “Right to Buy Scheme”
The Anti-Money Laundering controls have been strengthened by the South Kesteven district council after multiple questions were put onto buyers and cash sources in the Right to Buy Scheme.
The finance chief of the council told the governance and audit committee that there had been cases where large amounts were transferred to the bank accounts of almost every potential buyer. The new strict additions in AML measures are created to shed light on sources of inflow of the cash which is used to buy council homes.
Around 40 homes are sold by the South Kesteven District Council every year under the scheme which is created to assist renters in making house-owning operations easier and more affordable. The tenants are entitled to a discount of over 35% after 3 years that can eventually go up to the 70% mark.
The chief finance officer, Richard Wyles while addressing the meeting stated that: “It’s good practice to review these policies periodically, There were a couple of examples where upon examination of the funding source, there were questions asked about the origins of it.
“If you get a bank statement and there’s a deposit of £50,000 and now they’re buying a house, we’re going to want to understand better where it’s come from and satisfy ourselves it’s appropriate. There were questions which made us think it would be appropriate to review this form and make it more resilient.”
He added: “We have a legal duty to make sure the qualification process is followed accurately, and carry out our due diligence and preventative fraud measures.”
The new tightened measures state that all applicants must fill out a declaration form related to anti-money laundering. The local authority would operate in accordance with other councils, it was explained to the councillors. According to official statistics, there was fraud in the Right to Buy program worth more than £30 million in 2019–20.