Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Requirements
In light of recent global events surrounding money laundering and the funding of terrorism, New Zealand has passed a law called the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (the Act).
The purpose of this Act is to protect New Zealand from the impact that criminal activity has on people and economies around the world, and to safeguard the reputation of New Zealand as being one of the least corrupt countries and a good place to do business.
Recent changes to the Act mean that from 1 October 2018, accountants must comply with its requirements.
Accountants are now required do a number of things to help combat money laundering and terrorist financing, and to help NZ Police in the process of identifying and capturing criminals. In order to identify potentially suspicious activity that may involve money laundering or financing of terrorism, accountants must assess the risks involved with carrying out particular activities on behalf of clients.
To make that assessment, accountants must obtain information from prospective and existing clients in order to verify their identity (referred to as “customer due diligence”).
Customer Due Diligence Requirements
In carrying out the engagement for you we will:
Accountants are now required to undertake verification of personal information before providing certain services to clients. We must take reasonable steps to ensure that client information is correct. In order to do so, we will need to obtain and verify certain information from you to meet these legal requirements. This information includes:
- your full name; and
- your date of birth; and
- your address.
To confirm these details, documents such as your passport or driver’s licence + EFTPOS/credit card or birth certificate + drivers licence, and documents that show your address – such as a current bank statement or utility bill – will be required.
If you are seeking services regarding company or trust business, we will need information about the company or trust, including the people associated with it (such as directors and shareholders, trustees and beneficiaries).
We may also need to ask you for further information, such as the nature and purpose of the proposed work you are asking us to complete for you. Information confirming the source of funds for a transaction may also be necessary to meet the legal requirements.
If you cannot provide the required information
If we are not able to obtain the required information from you, it is likely we will not be able to act for you. Because the law applies to everyone, we need to ask for the information even if you have been a client of ours for a long time.
If the service you require from us is captured under the Act, we will let you know what information we need, and what documents you need to show us and allow us to take a copy.
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