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Financial crime standard for construction set by RICS

RICS' three-month consultation aims to determine whether the professional statement will help mitigate the risk of financial crime

RICS: Financial crime a 'risk' to construction.
RICS: Financial crime a 'risk' to construction.

Draft standard to mitigate risk of money laundering, bribery, corruption, and terrorist financing in construction has been set by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

RICS has opened a global consultation on a draft standard created to help property professionals and regulated firms address a range of financial crimes that can creep into construction.

The draft standard, ‘Countering bribery and corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing’, will be enshrined under RICS’ professional standards, which all members have to comply with.

READ: Housing violation report referred to Kuwait's anti-corruption body

Global director of professionalism and ethics at RICS, Peter Bolton King, said the "risks" of financial crime were present in the sector "regardless of geography or industry specialism".

He added: "By setting out the obligations of RICS professionals and regulated firms, the professional statement promotes transparent and ethical business behaviour, which promotes market confidence in the profession."

The construction sector is "known for illegal financial activity", RICS said. It pointed to PwC research from 2014, which said construction was one of a number of sectors prone to bribery and corruption.

RICS’ draft professional statement aims to explain how the risk of financial criminality should be managed, setting clear guidelines on what counts as unethical conduct.

King added: "Our focus on bribery and corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing is not new for RICS or for the profession in general.

"As a global professional body, RICS has a responsibility to ensure that we set out the minimum requirements and obligations for our professionals and regulated firms to ensure their activities do not involve or facilitate bribery, corruption, money laundering or terrorist financing.

"It is therefore imperative that our practitioners, regulated firms, clients of surveying services, and other stakeholders participate in the consultation, and that our final standard reflects the reality of a modern profession and professional practice."

RICS has launched a three-month global consultation to ascertain if construction professionals and stakeholders think the draft professional statement is watertight.

The consultation runs from May to July 2018, and all RICS professionals will have to adhere to it once upon completion.

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Construction Week - Issue 729
Feb 14, 2019