What is AML/CFT?
The Anti- Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism. AML law is aimed at detecting and stopping criminals engaged in money-laundering and the financing of terrorism*. AML/CFT law applies to New Zealand banks and financial institutions, as well as lawyers and accountants – as the services they offer could be used by criminals to launder money. From 1 January 2019, AML law was also applied to Real Estate Industry in New Zealand.
What is our obligatory Customer Due Diligence?
From 1 January 2019, before we agree to provide our services to you, we will need to obtain certain information from you – in order to comply with AML/CFT requirements satisfy ourselves that you are not going to use our services to facilitate crime. This is called customer due diligence (CDD).
By law, we are not able to provide services to you until our customer due diligence is complete. We are required to carry out customer due diligence on new customers and existing customers – and we’ll need to carry out customer due diligence on you even if you have been a customer of ours for a long time.
We will need the following information: your full name, your date of birth and your address. To make sure you are who you say you are, we also need evidence of that information such as proof of address on a utility bill or driver’s license. We use electronic verification to make the process simple and quick – we confirm your identity using electronic databases wherever possible, so you don’t have to worry about getting copies of documents. We will also ask for a photocopy of your Drivers Licence or Passport (there are other options which we can discuss with you if you haven’t got one of these).
To protect against ID theft, we also have to check that the photo on the document is you – the easiest way is for one of the Hills Real Estate team to confirm this by meeting you in person, but again there are other options if this isn’t possible. We use an agent, AML Hub to carry out this work on our behalf. Most of the time it is processed without any further information required, but sometimes they will need to get in touch, especially if the client is a Trust or is based offshore, but, they will explain clearly what they need and quickly work with you to get the process completed.
For trusts and for other customers which are not individuals, like companies, we’ll need to collect information not only about the trust or company but also about the individuals associated with it, such as the directors, shareholders, trustees and beneficiaries. This is to prevent criminals ‘hiding’ behind a legal entity. We will identify these people where possible, but we will be relying on you to help us identify all the people who own or control these entities. We will make this as easy as possible by providing you with detailed guidance on what we need.
For some customers, such as trusts, we will need to ask for information on the customer’s source of funds or wealth. Again, we will make this as easy as possible by giving you detailed guidance on what we need.
If you are unable to provide the information we need, it is likely that we will not be able to provide services to you.
If you have any queries or concerns about these new requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact us using the information below. Below is a link providing a guideline that we follow on conducting AML/CFT.
Hills Real Estate Limited
Email: [email protected]
123A Ormiston Road, Flatbush, Auckland 2019
Download: AML/CFT guidelines for real estate agents
*Money laundering (ML) is the process that criminals use to “clean” the money they make through their criminal activity, by turning it into seemingly legitimate funds.
*Terrorism financing (TF) is used to describe the process terrorists and their sympathisers use to raise and move funds.