Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (“AML”)

To counter the impact of criminal activity in New Zealand the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (“AML”) was passed. To comply with this law every law firm is required to collect and verify certain information from existing and new clients with effect from 1 July 2018. If any suspicious activity is identified then it must be reported.

The purposes of the Act are:

  • to detect and deter money laundering and the financing of terrorism;
  • to maintain and enhance New Zealand’s international reputation by adopting recommendations issued by the Financial Action Task Force; and
  • to contribute to public confidence in the financial system.

CUSTOMER INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS

Before providing services to clients, 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. To confirm these details, documents such as your driver’s licence or passport, and documents that show your address (e.g. a current bank statement or utility bill) will be required. Please help us with this by completing our New Client Information Form.

If you are seeing us about company or trust business, then, unless we already hold it, 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 including the nature and purpose of the proposed work you are asking us to do for you as well as the source of funds for any financial transactions we may be required to carry out on your behalf.

The AML applies to everyone so if we are not able to obtain the required information from you we may not be able to act for you.

If you have any queries or concerns regarding this please feel free to discuss these with the lawyer who will be undertaking your work.