Architecture is rooted to any real estate process. The real estate activities entail rigorous obligations in terms of money laundering (PBC).

The case study that we will analyse is that of an architect who, directly or through a professional company, is hired to carry out a project. We refer to the architect who was only hired to carry out the work project, what the Building Regulation Law (“LOE”) defines as the “project designer”. Specifically, the obligations under Law 10/2010, of April 28, on the Prevention of Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism (LPBCF) and its Regulations approved by Royal Decree 304/2014, of May 5th.

The art. 2 of Law 10/2010 describes who must carry out a money laundering prevention control. In section 1, letter I, it clearly indicates that real estate developers, and those who carry out brokerage in the sale or lease of real estate, are obliged to control PBC. If the architect-designer is, simultaneously, the developer of the project (he himself draws up the project, builds and sells the building or the flats) then, yes, it will be obliged to carry out the due diligence provided for in the Law.

What if he just drafts and direct the Project? The LPBCF does not foresee anything regarding this situation and, therefore, making a literal interpretation, we must determine that the architect who only drafts the project of the works, will never be obliged to carry out a money laundering control. That is the same interpretation that the PBC whatchdog (“SEPBLAC”) has issued to us a query made by our office.

Do not hesitate to contact us to resolve any questions on this subject.