Gregor Kleinknecht comments on the national crackdown on money laundering and fraud, and how the new regulations could cripple the small art market in The Times

  • July 26, 2021
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Read the full article published in The Times here.

Caps are being put on the amount that bank customers can transfer online amid a national crackdown on money laundering and fraud.

Banks are under pressure to clamp down on money laundering after warnings from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as it is feared that criminals are using ordinary bank accounts to steal money through fraud and by pretending to be cryptocurrency traders.

Galleries, dealers and auction houses must check the identities of people who buy and sell through them or face prosecution, in a move to prevent money laundering in the art world.

British art market experts have suggested that the new regulations could cripple small art dealerships because of the logistics involved.

“It’s relatively easy for the big auction houses such as Sotheby’s or Christie’s, which have big compliance departments, to deal with these regulations, but it is difficult to cope with that extra layer of bureaucracy if you are small,” said Gregor Kleinknecht, a specialist in art and cultural heritage law at Hunters law firm. “The US market does not have this requirement yet — that’s an added complication.”

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