What is Happening

New Zealand Justice Minister Amy Adams introduced the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Amendment Bill (AML/CFT Bill) to Parliament today. The main effect of this Bill is to include many more reporting entities to the New Zealand AML/CFT regime. Reporting entities are businesses that are required to comply with the obligations in the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act). New reporting entities include lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, and “high value dealers”.

The AML/CFT Bill is being referred to as “Phase 2” of the AML/CFT Act.

 

What it Means

For “Phase 1” entities, they being businesses providing financial services who have been reporting entities since 2013, it will be largely business as usual. The AML/CFT Act will be altered in some ways for example, suspicious transaction reports (STRs) will become suspicious activity reports (SARs), and there will be more ways for reporting entities to share information in a way that reduces the cost of compliance on individual businesses.

The Ministry of Justice, the government department responsible for creating the policy in the AML/CFT Bill, has been vague on exactly what these alterations to the Act will look like. We are unlikely to get more information on this until we can view the final Bill.

For “Phase 2” entities, the new reporting entities being caught by the AML/CFT Bill, the changes will be immense. These businesses will need to quickly their heads and budgets around Risk Assessment and Programme creation, annual reporting to their supervisor, KYC and transaction monitoring procedures, and internal and external auditing. Phase 1 entities can attest to how difficult it can be to settle into AML/CFT compliance for the first time.

 

What You Should Do Next

Phase 1 entities need only sit tight for now, until we are clear how parts of their compliance regime will change. We are hopeful that the amendments to the AML/CFT Act will make things easier, rather than harder.

Phase 2 entities need to make arrangements now to understand the scope of your obligations, estimate any new budget expenditure for new staff, new advisors, and new tools and workflows. We can’t promise your new AML/CFT obligations won’t be a significant change to your business, but with Fiducia’s help we can promise that it can be painless, and even constructive.

Email us now to get started or to find out more, information@fiducia.co.nz.