About the Project

Towards strengthening due diligence measures to prevent money laundering in the Real Estate sector in Spain and Portugal

This project is an initiative developed by Transparency International Spain (TI-Spain) and Transparência e Integridade (TI-Portugal) with the aim of identifying those risk areas and current specific needs of the Real Estate sector in terms of anti-money laundering in both Spain and Portugal, inasmuch as in recent years they constitute an area especially vulnerable within the European Union to money laundering through the Real Estate sector.

In addition, international organizations, specialized researchers in money laundering as well as professionals in the sector have identified a general lack of exhaustive knowledge of compliance with AML obligations, legislative and regulatory gaps as well as numerous common deficiencies when it comes to combating money laundering by applying the common legal framework to all the other obliged entities. The evolution and complexity of the phenomenon have left the law meager and insufficient, not being able to cover various important areas, especial situations or especially sensitive subjects, clearly going far behind of reality.

That is why this project provides to the sector:

  1. A website with relevant documentation on AML in the Real Estate sector in Spain and Portugal, which can be useful for professionals of the sector and public sector authorities, as well as for other specialized organizations and researchers that are already working on initiatives related to AML.
  2. An AML Real Estate Checklist Assessment for Spain and Portugal, since there is nothing similar with the aim of being a useful tool for professionals in the sector.
  3. A set of training materials and relevant documentation on the prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorism in the Real Estate sector in Spain and Portugal 

Phase 1

Desk research, stakeholder mapping and state of art

Phase 2

Quantitative and qualitative research

Phase 3

Data analysis and production of the baseline

Phase 4

Preparation of training materials and development of training sessions tailored for the Spanish and Portuguese Real Estate Sector

Main stakeholders and target groups

Obligated professionals and entities, according to the legislation on money laundering and terrorist financing linked to the Real Estate sector:
    • Real Estate developers
    • Real Estate  services
    • Real Estate  agents
    • Commission agents
    • Intermediaries in Real Estate sales
    • Real Estate  consultants
    • Professionals in the construction of infrastructures and buildings

Risk areas of work

  • Due diligence measures to identify the beneficial owners and new transparency requirements of the beneficial owner or ultimate beneficiary (BOT)
  • The need for guaranteeing up-to-date training and with an adequate risk approach
  • Focus on resident visas for multimillionaire investments (Golden Visas)
  • Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs)
  • Reporting systems and whistleblower protection