Welcome to our June Newsletter
In 2009 New Zealand passed a law called the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (we call it the AML/CFT law). The purpose of 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.
Recent changes to the AML/CFT Act mean that from 1 July 2018, lawyers are required to comply with its requirements. This law requires lawyers to do a number of things to help combat money laundering and terrorist financing, and to help Police bring the criminals who do it to justice. The AML/CFT law does this because the services law firms and other professionals offer may be attractive to those involved in criminal activity.
The law says that law firms and other professionals must assess the risk they may face from the actions of money launderers and people who finance terrorism and to identify potentially suspicious activity.
To make that assessment lawyers must obtain and verify information from prospective and existing clients about a range of things. This is part of what the AML/CFT law calls “customer due diligence” (‘CDD’).
CDD requires a law firm to undertake certain background checks before providing services to clients or customers. Lawyers must take reasonable steps to make sure the information they receive from clients is correct, and so they need to ask for documents that show this.
From July onwards all lawyers will need to obtain and verify certain information from their clients to meet these legal requirements. This information includes:
- your full name; and
- your date of birth; and
- your address.
To confirm these details there are a few documents we must request from our existing clients from June 2018. We will need you to provide us with the following:
- your driver’s licence, or
- your birth certificate, or
- your passport and
- your latest bank statement or other document that shows your address. This could be your latest rates or power bill.
If you are seeing us about company or trust business, we will need the same documentary information about the company or trust including from the people associated with it (such as directors and shareholders, trustees and beneficiaries).
We may also need to ask you for further information. We will need to ask you about the nature and purpose of the proposed work you are asking us to do for you. Information confirming the source of funds for a transaction may also be necessary to meet the legal requirements.
We wish to highlight if we are not able to obtain the required information from you, it is likely we will not be able to act for you.
Before we start working for you on new matters, we will let you know what information we need, and what documents you need to show us and allow us to keep a photocopy of for our records.
Please contact your lawyer at Davenports West who undertakes your work if you have any queries or concerns about the new AML/CFT Act.
If you have any other query on any other legal matter please do not hesitate to contact us to organise a time or to just discuss your matter over the phone.
DAVENPORTS WEST LAWYERS LIMITED
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