Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and What it means for you as our client
We want to advise you of law changes that will apply to lawyers and their clients from 01 July 2018. These laws already apply to banks and financial service providers; and are known as AML (Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009).
Why do we all care?
The overarching reason for AML regime is to reduce crime and make our communities safer.
AML is a global initiative with responsible countries agreeing to adopt AML systems that include practical measures to make it harder for criminals to profit from and fund illegal activity; and to restrict the flow of money to terrorist organisations.
The Government has chosen to roll this out in stages, now being the time for lawyers and conveyancers to join the regime.
Some criminals try to use lawyers to help hold and move assets. Introducing AML measures will deter criminals from using our services and help us detect them if they do.
What does it mean for you as our client
The law requires us to ‘know our clients’ and to collect and verify information to show that we know our client is who they say they are. This is part of what the AML/CFT law calls “customer due diligence” (CDD).
To make that assessment, 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 we will require documents such as your passport, a bank statement and a utility bill addressed to your usual residential address.
If you are seeking advice from us about 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.
Before we start working for you, we will let you know what information we need, and what documents you need to show us and let us copy them.
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.
Our Team will try to make this as easy for you as we can. However, your cooperation in this regard will be highly appreciated.
It is important to understand that under AML it is likely we will not be able to act for you if we are not able to obtain the required information from you. Clearly neither of us wants to find ourselves in this situation.
For more information on AML or if you have any concerns please contact our AML Compliance Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org
or speak to the lawyer who will be undertaking your work.
We respect your PRIVACY:
- We only collect information for the purposes set out in our client information form.
- The information is available to all our staff who are required to comply with our professional obligations of confidentiality.
- The information is held at our premises and on our secure server.
- You have a right to request access and to request correction of your personal information at any time. (see: https://www.privacy.org.nz/news-and-publications/guidance-resources/your-right-to-know-an-opc-advice-sheet/)