Partnership will protect boat sales from money launderers

Boat sales in the UK will be protected from money-laundering criminals after a major technology deal has been secured for brokers and agents.

The Association of Yacht Brokers and Agents (ABYA) has entered into a strategic partnership with SmartSearch, the UK’s leading provider of anti-money laundering (AML) software.

The deal will provide ABYA members with a streamlined, user-friendly platform to verify the identity of boat sellers and buyers, irrespective of where they are in the world.

The UK’s leading anti-corruption organisation Transparency International has identified boat sales as a conduit for money-laundering and ABYA has been working with HM Treasury and UK Finance to ensure all yacht brokers in the UK and Europe meet the highest AML and sanctions check standards.

The partnership with SmartSearch will provide ABYA members with a product suite of Know Your Business and Know Your Customer services in one user journey, allowing them to conduct verification checks quickly and effectively on customers anywhere in the world.

Peter Norris, ABYA chairman, said, “ABYA takes the subject of AML extremely seriously. It is our mission to set and uphold the highest standards for marine professionals, as well as to increase our relevance to our members, affiliates, and their clients.

“Our partnership with SmartSearch will put ABYA at the forefront of the marine sector’s ever-changing compliance landscape. It will allow us to deliver an affordable, cost-effective, and streamlined compliance solution to our members, ensuring their AML and sanctions procedures meet HM Treasury and Financial Conduct Authority regulations.”

Jade Kirk, enterprise business development manager at SmartSearch added: “We are delighted to be partnering with ABYA to give their members peace of mind knowing that their compliance obligations will be taken care of.

“SmartSearch already works closely with the marine industry and, with potential new regulations looming, we take pride in being able to lessen the burden that comes with compliance, especially for smaller broker firms.

“ABYA is a forward-thinking organisation which understands the importance of compliance and wants to ensure its members are properly protected.

“We are looking forward to a great partnership.”