Why we need to ask you for information
There are changes to the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (“AML/CFT”) that will apply to you + us.
You may already be aware of AML/CFT as the law currently applies to banks and other financial service providers.
From 1 July 2018 AML/CFT will apply to your relationship with us. From 1 October AML/CFT will also apply to your relationship with your accountant and any Real Estate Agent that you deal with after 1 January 2019.
The law reflects New Zealand’s commitment to the international initiative to counter the impact that criminal activity has on people and economies within the global community.
From 1 July 2018 we are required to have measures in place to help us to detect money laundering and financing of terrorism as the services we offer may be attractive to those involved in criminal activity.
As a law firm we need to assess the risk we may face from the actions of money launderers and people who finance terrorism and identify potentially suspicious activity. To make that assessment, we need to obtain and verify information from existing and potential clients before we start providing our services to them. This is known as “customer due diligence”.
What we will need from you
Customer due diligence requires us to undertake certain background checks before providing our services to you. We must also take reasonable steps to make sure the information we receive is correct. To do this, we need to obtain information from you and verify the information you provide us is correct.
The information we will ask you for includes:
• your full name; and
• your date of birth; and
• your address.
To confirm these details, we will need documents that include photo identification, like your passport or current driver’s licence and documents that show your address, like a current bank statement or utility bill.
If you are seeing us about a company or trust, we will also need information relating to the company or trust and the people associated with it (such as directors and shareholders, trustees and beneficiaries) and we may also need to ask you for information on the source of funds and wealth for a transaction.
We will make this process as easy as possible for you by providing you with detailed guidance on what we need.
If you cannot provide the required information?
If you are unable to provide the information we require, 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.
Please contact us if you have any queries or concerns about these requirements.