Anti Money Laundering Update

 

​Anti-money laundering update
The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act has now passed and become law. The law takes effect for real estate agents on 1 January 2019. 

See a copy of the Act here

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) is the designated supervisor for real estate agents and will oversee your compliance with the regime. 

Preparing for 1 January 2019
Under the Act, real estate agents will have to do the following: 
  • Appoint an AML/CFT compliance officer: This is a designated employee or other person who reports to a senior manager.
  • Carry out a risk assessment: This is an assessment of the risk of money laundering or financing of terrorism that you are likely to face in the course of your business. 
  • Develop a written AML compliance programme: This will be based on your risk assessment and must include internal policies and procedures for vetting and training staff and complying with your other obligations under the regime.
  • Carry out due diligence on customers: There are three types of due diligence with varying requirements based on the type and risk associated with each customer: standard, simplified and enhanced. 
  • Report suspicious activity: Under the Act, you must report any suspicious activity around transactions that may be relevant to the enforcement or investigation of offences relating to money laundering, drugs, terrorism, proceeds of crime or serious offences under the Crimes Act
  • Report prescribed transactions: These are international wire transfers or domestic physical cash transactions over a certain amount.
  • Keep records: This includes transaction records, identity and verification records, your reports of suspicious activities, risk assessments and your AML/CFT compliance programmes.
  • Carry out audits: Your risk assessment and AML/CFT compliance programme must be audited every two years or as otherwise required by regulations or DIA.
  • Make an annual report to DIA: This is a report in a prescribed form.
See further information for real estate agents here.

Next steps
We recommend that agents take advice on how to prepare for their increased obligations under the AML/CFT regime. We’ll be working with the Ministry of Justice on implementation and the development of regulations for the real estate industry, including when customer due diligence must be carried out. Once the regulations have been finalised, DIA will produce sector risk assessments and guidance for the new reporting entities.

Early in 2018, DIA will also be running a nationwide roadshow with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of NZ Police. 

In the meantime, you can subscribe to the DIA AML/CFT newsletter here