Three quarters of estate agents still unaware of the Economic Crime Levy

The vast majority of estate agents remain in the dark concerning the government’s Economic Crime Levy, including when it was implemented or even if they may owe fees as a result of its implementation.

Related topics:  Business,  Estate Agents,  Government
Property | Reporter
25th April 2023
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The ECL is an annual charge collected by either the Financial Conduct Authority, the Gambling Commission or HMRC, from organisations that are supervised under the Money Laundering Regulations and whose revenues exceed £10.2m per year.

Introduced to tackle economic crime, those affected must register for the ECL, submit a return each year and pay the required fee.

The ECL impacts organisations that are classed as medium (£10.2m to £36m), large (£36m to £1bn) or very large (£1bn+) based on their revenue, with fees ranging from £10,000 to £250,000 depending on the size of the entity. The new levy is expected to raise in the region of £100 million a year and will in part help fund the government’s new economic crime plan.

Estate and letting agents are one of eight sectors impacted by its introduction for the last financial year, meaning that the first round of ECL fees is due to be paid this September.

However, new market analysis from Credas Technologies found that 74% are unaware of the Economic Crime Levy. 83% were unaware as to when it was implemented, while 81% also didn’t know what revenue threshold they would be subject to an ECL fee from.

Furthermore, 78% stated they didn’t know which sectors were impacted by its introduction, 79% didn’t know how the fee structure worked, 79% were unaware when a potential fee was due to be paid, with the majority (80%) also unaware as to how they would pay a potential ECL fee.

Tim Barnett, CEO of Credas Technologies, said:

“The Economic Crime Levy may seem like another paperwork headache from the powers that be and given its relative infancy, it’s understandable that many estate and letting agents are still in the dark about it.

"With the property sector being one of the most susceptible to money laundering it is something that many agents will need to be on top of, not only when it comes to completing their return each year, but also paying the fee due.”

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