What the new anti-money laundering requirements mean for our clients

From the 1 July 2018 all law firms will be required to obtain more information from clients. This is part of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009, also known as the AML/CFT Act.

The purpose of the Act is to help prevent criminal activity, including money laundering and protect New Zealand’s reputation as a safe place to do business.

All New Zealand law firms will help combat money laundering and other criminal activity by completing customer due diligence, including verifying certain information about you, such as:

  • Your full name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your address

To verify these details we will need to see documents such as your passport, birth certificate or driver’s licence, along with documents that prove your address, such as a utility bill or bank statement.

Depending on the legal matter we are helping you with, we may also ask for more information, such as whether a transaction relates to a company or trust. We also may need to confirm the identities of other directors, shareholders, trustees and staff within a business who give us instructions.

People who deal with banks will already be familiar with the increased requirements that have been in place for some time.

Lane Neave, and all other New Zealand lawyers, won’t be able to act for you without seeing the necessary documents and verifying your identity. This includes clients who have been working with us for a long time.

We have been working hard behind the scenes to help our team and our clients be prepared for the new requirements. This includes a new section on our website with information and guidelines about AML/CFT Act, including a list of documents we require to verify your identify.

AML/CFT website section

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Lane Neave is not able to provide legal opinion or advice without specific instructions from you and the completion of all formal engagement processes.