ANTI MONEY LAUNDERING AND COUNTER FINANCING OF TERRORISM ACT 2009
On 1 July, law firms will become subject to requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (known as the AML/CFT). The government have introduced measures to deter criminal activity in New Zealand and maintain its international reputation as a safe and reliable place to conduct business.
We have been working hard to implement these new requirements as smoothly as possible into our client experience.
What is AML/CFT?
AML/CFT is part of a global approach to identify and deter the impact of money laundering and financing of terrorism on people and on economies around the world. The government has introduced this law in stages, firstly to banks and now to law firms. Accountants and real estate agents are to follow. The new law requires us to meet legal requirements to combat these criminal activities and assist the Police. What does this mean for you as a client? We are required to collect and verify more information from our clients, to ensure we know who they are and what they are doing. This is called “Customer Due Diligence” (CDD) and will include verification of:
* Your full name (eg passport, firearms licence, drivers licence)
* Your date of birth (as above)
* Your address (eg a recent bank statement, phone, power or rates bill)
Similar to the banks, this involves viewing and storing copies of an acceptable form of photographic ID and some form of proof of physical address.
In some cases, we will need to make more extensive inquiries. This may involve asking questions about the nature of the legal work, source of your wealth or the source of funds being used in the transactions. We may need to get information and conduct CDD on each of the people involved. For example, directors, shareholders, settlors, trustees, beneficiaries.
Our team will let you know what information you need to provide us. If you have any questions, please contact us.
Is there anything I need to be doing now? For existing clients of Aoraki Legal, once the AML/CFT requirements are implemented, we will only require this information when you provide a new instruction to us, and where our current records are insufficient to satisfy the requirements.
For any new clients joining us, we will be incorporating these measures into our new client engagement procedure. This may require you to come into our office the first time we act for you, with the necessary documentation.
If you have any questions about what this all means, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team.