Important Information on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Financing of Terrorism (CFT)
In 2009 the Government enacted the Ani-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act. In 2013 the Act was amended to include banks, other financial services providers and casinos. In 2018 the Act was amended to include real estate agents and conveyancers, lawyers and accountants, some high value dealers such as auctioneers, jewellers and motor vehicle and boat dealers, and betting on sports and racing.
Services provided by accountants are often used by criminals to hold and move assets and funds anonymously. We are legally required to put systems and processes in place to stop criminals from trying to exploit us, and detect suspicious financial activities if they occur. We will be audited every two years to ensure that we are complying with the law. If not, we can be fined $5 million plus imprisonment.
What is money laundering and financing of terrorism?
Money laundering is how criminals 'clean' the money they make from illegal activities such as fraud, drugs and tax evasion. Each year about $1.35 billion from the proceeds of fraud and illegal drugs is laundered through everyday New Zealand businesses.
They launder money so it looks like it comes from a legitimate source, to cover their tracks and avoid being detected. They then spend the money or use it to fund their criminal activities.
People who finance terrorism also use these methods to send money to violent causes and to disguise who is providing and receiving the money.
What information do you have to provide to us?
We will be requesting any information that we require at various times. Even if you have been a client of ours for a long period of time, by law we will still need to obtain this information.
This will include certified documents confirming your name, birthdate and address, for example:
- passport or drivers' licence and bank card; and
- bank statement or power bill (dated within the last three months)
This process is called simple Customer Due Diligence (CDD).
If you have a company or trust, you may have to provide extra information like:
- evidence of the beneficial owners who effectively control or benefit from the trust or company, such as directors and shareholders, trustees and beneficiaries
- where and who the entity's money came from (source of funds)
- the name and date of birth of each beneficiary of the Trust.
This process is called Enhanced Customer Due Diligence.
You will also have to provide identification if:
- you become a customer or client of ours (for example, when you ask us to establish a company or trust for you)
- there's a material change in your accounts, financial arrangements or your business relationship with us (like if the number or type of your transactions change significantly)
- you pay $10,000 or more in cash to us
- you send $1000 or more overseas.
What will we do with the information?
We will keep a secure record of your information, in the same way we already keep other customer information about you.
Unfortunately, gathering this information and ensuring compliance takes a large amount of time. As a result, Walthall Ward Limited will be charging a fee of $150 + gst per simple CDD client group and $250 + gst for enhanced CDD.