New Zealand

Last updated 03/04/2014


CENTRAL AUTHORITY FOR REPORTING.

Financial Intelligence Unit of the New Zealand Police.


OTHER ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING REGULATOR(S).

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (“RBNZ”) supervises banks, life insurers and non-bank deposit takers. 

The Financial Markets Authority (“FMA”) supervises issuers of securities, trustee companies, futures dealers, collective investment schemes, brokers and financial advisors. 

The Department of Internal Affairs(“DIA”) supervises casinos, non-deposit-taking lenders, money changers and remitters, payroll remitters, debt factoring and financial leasing firms, safe deposit box vaults, non-bank credit card providers, stored value card providers and cash transporters, and any reporting entities not covered by the other supervisors. 

While not a ‘regulator’, the Ministry of Justice has a central role in developing the AML legislation and ongoing reforms, with responsibility for monitoring, reviewing and advising government on the AML regime’s overall efficiency and effectiveness.  It also administers the legal instruments and exemptions, and coordinates with relevant international bodies (e.g. FATF and the Asia Pacific Group).  The New Zealand Customs Service also has a role in detecting and investigating undeclared cross-border movement of cash, currencies and bearer instruments.

A National Co-ordination Committee exists, chaired by the Ministry of Justice, to ensure regular communication and consistency between these multiple AML supervisors and other stakeholders such as the Police Financial Intelligence Unit and the Inland Revenue Department.  


ARE LAWYERS COVERED BY ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING LEGISLATION?

New Zealand’s new legislation to ensure better compliance with FATF 40+9 principles came into full force and  effect on 30 June 2013:  the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (“AML/CFT Act”).  

Lawyers are not yet covered by the new, more rigorous, obligations of the AML/CFT Act, having obtained a group exemption, but that is likely to change in the near future. This exemption applies only when the lawyer is providing legal services, of a kind that could otherwise be covered by the AML/CFT Act, and not financial-type services as a sideline or in the ordinary course of business.

The new Act applies to banks, casinos and most types of financial institutions, unless an exemption applies. Other professionals and advisors (including lawyers, accountants and real estate agents) are not in the first tranche of reporting entities to be covered, but will be brought into coverage under the AML/CFT Act at some point in the future.  The Ministry of Justice has announced intention to commence work on this second tranche of coverage in 2014 (which suggests that the earliest likely date for lawyers to actually be included might be in 2015).

In the meantime, lawyers remain covered by the obligations in the previous Financial Transactions Reporting Act 1996 (“FTRA”), including suspicious transaction reporting obligations. This Act applies primarilyin the instance when they receive funds in the course of the customer’s business for the purposes of the deposit or investment, or for the purpose of settling real estate transactions: FTRA, Section 3(1)(l). 

Thus, not every client engagement or dealing is necessarily covered, although there are more generic requirements to report suspicious transactions, however that suspicion might arise.

Although not covered, New Zealand lawyers can be affected by the new AML/CFT Act, particularly when they engage with financial institutions on behalf of a trust or nominee company client, or act as a trustee or nominee director, or when certifying documents required by banks and other financial institutions. In doing so, lawyers will be expected to provide more information about clients, in order for the financial institution to comply with its KYC obligations under the AML/CFT Act.


LIST THE LAWS REGARDING ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING, INDICATING WHICH LAWS ARE APPLICABLE TO LAWYERS.

The AML/CFT 2009 is the primary anti-money laundering law governing New Zealand’s financial sector.   Lawyers will eventually face the same enhanced obligations as other reporting entities in the financial sector, including:

  • Requirements to establish, implement, maintain and regularly audit an AML/CFT programme and risk assessment policies;
     
  • More onerous customer due diligence (“CDD”) measures when taking on new customers or conducting occasional transactions;
     
  • Enhanced due diligence measures (“EDD”) for certain types of transactions, business relationships or customer groups, including for ‘politically exposed persons’ (“PEPs”) who are prominent foreign public individuals;
     
  • Ongoing account and transaction monitoring requirements;
     
  • A minimum five year retention period for account and transactions records;
     
  • More systematic obligations around making Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) to the Financial Intelligence Unit of the New Zealand Police;
     
  • Obligations to implement a formal AML/CFT compliance programme, have an appointed AML/CFT compliance officer, and train and vet staff.

Other relevant laws which continue to apply broadly, including to lawyers, include:


ARE VISITING LAWYERS SUBJECT TO LOCAL LAWS REGARDING ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING, AND, IF SO, TO WHAT EXTENT?

Visiting lawyers need a practising certificate from the New Zealand Law Society (“NZLS”) before practising law in this country. Information about their Anti-Money Laundering obligations would be available in the course of obtaining that certificate.


LIST ANY MONEY LAUNDERING GUIDANCE FOR LAWYERS (FOR EXAMPLE, LAW SOCIETY OR BAR ASSOCIATION GUIDELINES) CURRENTLY IN PLACE.

NZLS administers lawyers’ obligations, including those under the FTRA, via the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, and in the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Trust Account) Regulations 2008 - both available from the NZLS website. So far, the NZLS has not issued any specific guidance to lawyers on AML requirements, other than a Practice Note to assist lawyers in meeting the new document certification standards that banks and other reporting entities may require.

There are now a great many general guidance documents, a Code of Practice, and fact-sheets available from the New Zealand Police FIU and the AML supervisors, although aimed at general financial institutions and reporting entities rather than lawyers.  Such guidelines on specific aspects of the AML/CFT Act are available from the DIA website, RBNZ websiteand the FMA website.

Law reform background leading to the passage of the AML/CFT Act is found on the Ministry of Justice's website.


IS THE LAW SOCIETY/BAR ASSOCIATION INVOLVED IN SUPERVISING OR ENFORCING COMPLIANCE WITH ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING REGULATIONS?

There is not yet any official AML monitoring/supervisory body for lawyers. The NZLS has been involved in the consultation and submission process for the new AML/CFT Act 2009 and it is possible it may be given a role when lawyers are brought into the regulatory scheme in future. However, more likely it will have an education and awareness role, and the DIA will be the regulatory supervisor for lawyers.


DESCRIBE CLIENT DUE DILIGENCE REQUIREMENTS, INCLUDING WHEN IT MUST BE UNDERTAKEN BY LAWYERS.

The FTRA imposes duties on lawyers to verify the identity of clients in certain circumstances, where:

1.     a person applies to become a ‘facility holder’ as defined in the FTRA (whether in relation to an existing facility or the establishment of a new facility);

2.     a person is conducting an occasional transaction and either:

a.     The amount of cash involved is at least NZ$10,000; or 

b.    The person conducting the transaction, or someone else, is conducting other occasional transactions, the total cash involved is at least NZ$10,000, and the lawyer believes on reasonable grounds that the transactions have been structured to avoid the specified threshold.

Verification is also required where a person may be acting on behalf of others in a transaction, i.e., where:

1.     a person is conducting occasional transactions through a lawyer; or

2.     a facility holder is conducting a transaction through its facility, and the lawyer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is conducting the transaction on behalf of others and:

3.     the amount of cash involved is at least NZ$10,000; or

4.     the person conducting the transaction, or someone else, is conducting other transactions, the total cash involved is at least NZ$10,000, and the lawyer believes on reasonable grounds that the various transactions have been structured to avoid the specified threshold. 

In this case, the lawyer must verify the identity of the persons on whose behalf it is believed the transactions are being conducted.

Verification is required in any case if a person is conducting a transaction through a lawyer and the lawyer has reasonable grounds to suspect a money laundering offence.

Timing of identity verification

Generally, the FTRA requires the lawyer to verify identity before the relevant person becomes a facility holder or before the relevant transaction is conducted.  However, in some cases, the requirement is relaxed slightly and verification may take place as soon as practical after the trigger event.

Previous identification

The FTRA provides that a lawyer can rely on a previous identification if “it has reasonable grounds to believe that the evidence from the previous verification is still reasonably capable of establishing the identity of that person”.

Procedures for verifying identity

The FTRA requires verification of the identity of a facility holder to be “by means of such documentary or other evidence as is reasonably capable of establishing the identity of that person”.

Previous versions of  Best Practice Guidelines for Financial Institutionsissued by the Financial Intelligence Unit state that:

“The Act is deliberately silent on exactly what evidence is “reasonably capable” of proving a person’s identity. As a general rule institutions should endeavour to verify identity from a document or documents obtained from a reputable and identifiable source by way of reference from a reputable and identifiable party.”

Therefore, whether verification of identity is sufficient depends both on the document relied upon and on the source from which that document was obtained.

New due diligence rules under the AML/CFT Act  

For clients who are reporting entities (i.e. not lawyers) under the new AML/CFT Act, the Customer Due Diligence (“CDD”) requirements (sections 10-17) are considerably more detailed, and include:

Collecting minimum identity information as required for standard CDD in most situations: the person's full name; date of birth; if not the customer, that person's relationship to the customer; address or registered office; and any company identifier or registration number; as well as other information prescribed by regulations.

Requiring the reporting entity to then verify that information, and verify certain additional details depending on the level of risk in certain situations (or as prescribed in regulations).

Some relaxations in certain circumstances for simplified CDD to be conducted on some businesses or persons (sections 18-21)

Additional requirements for enhanced CDD in a number of higher risk situations (sections 22-30), including trusts and PEPs, where enquiry must be made as to the source of funds or wealth of the customer. 

Generally, CDD is not retrospective, meaning it does not require all existing customers to be verified upon the new law coming into force (with some exceptions). It will typically apply to new relationships or accounts, or to "occasional transactions" with existing customers.


DOES YOUR COUNTRY FOLLOW A RISK-BASED APPROACH TO CLIENT DUE DILIGENCE BY LAWYERS?

The AML/CFT Act provides for a risk based approach, although still with a degree of prescriptive detail where certain minimum compliance standards are set out in the Act, Regulations, or Code of Practice for reporting entities to follow or voluntarily adopt.

Lawyers responsibility/liability

Lawyers’ main responsibility:

Other than the obligation to report suspicious transactions, lawyers have a specific responsibility under the FTRA:

  • To verify identity, in the required situations; and
     
  • To retain records.

Defined terms in the FTRA that are relevant include:

Facility: an account or arrangement that is provided by the lawyer and through which a “facility holder” may conduct two or more transactions (e.g. a client trust account).

Facility Holder: the person in whose name the facility is established (e.g. a client for whom a trust account is established), and this includes any person who is authorised to conduct transactions through a facility.

Occasional transaction: any transaction that involves the transfer of cash and that is either not conducted through a facility or is conducted through a facility but the person conducting the transaction is not a facility holder.

Transaction: broadly, a transfer of funds by any means.

Retention of records – transaction records

A lawyer is to keep such records as are reasonably necessary to enable each transaction that is conducted through that lawyer to be readily reconstructed at any time by the Commissioner of Police.

The amount of information required will vary depending on the nature of the transaction and the type of financial institution involved.

Transaction records must be retained for at least five years after the completion of the transaction.

Retention of records – customer verification records

Where a lawyer is required by the FTRA to verify the identity of any person, the lawyer must keep such records as are reasonably necessary to enable the nature of the evidence used for the purposes of that verification to be readily identified at any time by the Commissioner of Police.

In the case of records relating to the verification of the identity of any person in relation to a facility, the records must be retained for no less than five years from the date the person ceases to be a facility holder. In all other cases, records must be retained for no less than five years from the date that the verification is carried out.

Lawyer liability

Where any lawyer fails to verify identity, to report a suspicious transaction, or to keep the relevant records as required by the FTRA, he or she commits an offence and is liable to a fine of NZ$20,000 in the case of an individual and NZ$100,000 in the case of a body corporate (at current exchange rates, approximately €60,000).

Every person commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding NZ$10,000 (at current exchange rates, approximately €6,000) when, in making any suspicious transaction report, he/she:

  • Makes any statement that he or she knows is false or misleading in any way; or
     
  • Omits from any statement any matter or thing without which he/she knows that the statement is false or misleading in any way.

The FTRA also makes it an offence punishable by two years’ imprisonment to alert an unauthorised person to the existence of a suspicious transaction report, the information in the report, or the fact that the making of a report is contemplated (i.e. “tipping off”). 

Note that when lawyers are finally brought under the new AML/CFT Act, the potential penalties and duties will be much greater. 


ARE THERE ENHANCED DUE DILIGENCE MEASURES FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF CLIENTS, FOR EXAMPLE, POLITICALLY EXPOSED PERSONS?

Under the AML/CFT Act, enhanced CDD measures are required (section 22), in a variety of prescribed circumstances:

  • Establishing a business relationship or conducting an occasional transaction with a customer that is: a trust or another vehicle for holding personal assets; a non-resident customer from a country that has insufficient anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism systems or measures in place; or a company with nominee shareholders or shares in bearer form.
  • If a customer seeks to conduct a complex, unusually large transaction or unusual pattern of transactions that have no apparent or visible economic or lawful purpose;
  • When a reporting entity considers that the level of risk involved is such that enhanced CDD should apply to a particular situation;
  • Any other circumstances specified in regulations (see the AML/CFT (Requirements and Compliance) Regulations 2011, which currently stipulate what sort of additional information must be obtained in respect of trust beneficiaries);
  • Establishing a business relationship or conducting an occasional transaction with a customer who it has determined is a politically exposed person;
  • If it is an ordering institution, an intermediary institution, or a beneficiary institution in relation to a wire transfer;
  • If it has, or proposes to have, a correspondent banking relationship;
  • Establishing a business relationship or conducting an occasional transaction with a customer that involves new or developing technologies, or new or developing products, that might favour anonymity;
  • When a reporting entity has made a suspicious transaction report about the client.

The main additional measure is to gather information on the client’s source of funds, assets or wealth, although additional enhanced measures are specified for some situations (eg wire transfers).


ARE THERE SIMPLIFIED DUE DILIGENCE MEASURES FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF CLIENTS, FOR EXAMPLE, LISTED COMPANIES?

Under the AML/CFT Act these types of simplified due diligence are available in section 18 for certain types of customers, such as companies listed on certain public stock exchanges, Government departments named and local authorities, the New Zealand Police and Security Intelligence Service; and any other entity or class of entities specified in regulations (see the AML/CFT (Requirements and Compliance) Regulations 2011, which list entities including trustee corporations and Crown entities as being subject to simplified due diligence only).

A reporting entity may also conduct simplified customer due diligence on a person who purports to act on behalf of a customer when:

  1. The reporting entity already has a business relationship with the customer at the time the person acts on behalf of the customer; and
  2. The reporting entity has conducted one of the specified types of customer due diligence on the customer.

ARE LAWYERS PERMITTED TO RELY ON THIRD PARTY DUE DILIGENCE? IF YES, PLEASE DESCRIBE.

Not under current law, but under the new AML/CFT Act reliance on third parties is available in certain situations specified in section 33, including where:

  • The person being relied on is either—
    i.  A reporting entity; or

    ii. A person who is resident in a country with sufficient anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism systems and measures in place and who is supervised or regulated for AML/CFT purposes; and
  • The person has a business relationship with the customer concerned; and
     
  • The person has conducted relevant customer due diligence procedures to at least the standard required by the AML/CFT Act and regulations, and
     
  • Has provided to the reporting entity—
    i. Relevant identity information before the reporting entity establishes a business relationship or an occasional transaction is conducted; and

    ii. Relevant verification information as soon as practicable, but no later than 5 working days, after the business relationship is established or the occasional transaction is conducted; and
  • The person consents to conducting the customer due diligence procedures for the reporting entity and to providing all relevant information to the reporting entity; and
     
  • Any other conditions prescribed by regulations (yet to be promulgated) are complied with.

WHEN IS A LAWYER UNDER AN OBLIGATION TO REPORT SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTIONS?

Part III of the FTRA imposes obligations on lawyers to report suspicious transactions. In particular, where any person conducts or seeks to conduct any transaction through a lawyer and the lawyer has reasonable grounds to suspect:

  • That the transaction is or may be relevant to the investigation or prosecution of any person for a money laundering offence; or
     
  • The transaction or proposed transaction is or may be relevant to the enforcement of the Proceeds of Crimes Act.

The lawyer must, as soon as possible after forming the suspicion, report the transaction to the FIU of the New Zealand Police. Guidelines for making a report are available on the FIU website.  Under the new AML/CFT Act, a maximum of 3 working days is prescribed as a deadling for reporting. The FIU has developed a new bespoke computer system for secure online reporting, known as goAML, and the types of details needed from current reporting entities have been prescribed in Regulations issued in May 2013.  Although not yet covered by that new Act, the FIU encourages lawyers to register for and use the goAML system too when they need to make a report under the FTRA.

Lawyer liability

Where any lawyer fails to verify identity, to report a suspicious transaction, or to keep the relevant records as required by the FTRA, he or she commits an offence and is liable to a fine of NZ$20,000 in the case of an individual and NZ$100,000 in the case of a body corporate (at current exchange rates, approximately €60,000).

Every person commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding NZ$10,000 (at current exchange rates, approximately €6,000) when, in making any suspicious transaction report, he/she:

  • Makes any statement that he or she knows is false or misleading in any way; or
     
  • Omits from any statement any matter or thing without which he/she knows that the statement is false or misleading in any way.

The FTRA also makes it an offence punishable by two years imprisonment to alert an unauthorised person to the existence of a suspicious transaction report, the information in the report, or the fact that the making of a report is contemplated (i.e. “tipping off”).

There are also offences under the new AML/CFT Act that could potentially apply, if a lawyer becomes involved with a reporting entity in dealing with a compliance issue or suspicious incident.

If a lawyer is in any doubt over how to proceed in a given situation, the FIU encourage informal telephone contact for advice, which can be handled on a ‘no-client-names’ basis initially.


DOES ATTORNEY/CLIENT PRIVILEGE AND/OR DUTIES OF CONFIDENTIALITY PROVIDE A DEFENCE OR PARTIAL/TOTAL EXCEPTION TO THE REQUIREMENT TO REPORT SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTIONS?  

Currently, s15 of the FTRA provides that the obligation to report suspicious transactions does not require any lawyer to disclose any privileged communication, although there are some limits placed on the definition of what is truly ‘privileged’ in the context of trust account records.

Similar definitions are included in the AML/CFT Act, but precisely how this issue of privilege will be dealt with when lawyers are in due course brought under that tougher regime of the AML/CFT Act remains to be seen.


DOES LOCAL LAW PROVIDE ANY CRIMINAL AND/OR CIVIL INDEMNITY TO A LAWYER WHO HAS REPORTED A SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTION?

Yes, under the current law in sections 17 & 18 of the FTRA, and under the new AML/CFT Act, in sections 44 and 45. The new AML/CFT Act extends protections not just to suspicious transaction reporting, but to other acts done in good faith to comply with that Act.


ONCE A SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTION REPORT HAS BEEN FILED, IS A LAWYER ALLOWED TO PROCEED WITH THE LEGAL ADVICE/TRANSACTION, AND, IF SO, MUST CONSENT FROM AUTHORITIES BE OBTAINED FIRST?

There is no clear guidance available, and each incident should be approached carefully on a case-by-case basis.  In practice, the best course is usually to engage in dialogue with the FIU, and follow the requirements determined in any given situation by that unit or other officers of the New Zealand Police. 

In its recent report Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Vulnerabilities of Legal Professionals,FATF highlighted the concern of some legal professionals that, having made a suspicious transaction report, they may find themselves in a conflict with their ethical obligations to the client and the prohibition against “tipping off.” A lawyer who finds themselves in this position could also confidentially contact the NZLS for further advice. 


IS THERE A TIPPING-OFF PROHIBITION? IF YES, PLEASE DESCRIBE.

Under s20 of the FTRA, the obligation to report suspicious transactions carries with it an obligation not to disclose the report or fact it was made or contemplated.

These prohibitions are continued and extended under sections 46 and 47 of the new AML/CFT Act, and the potential penalty if convicted of a tipping-off offence is dramatically raised to:

  • In the case of an individual, either or both of the following:
  1. A term of imprisonment of not more than 2 years;
     
  2. A fine of up to $300,000; and
  • In the case of a corporate body, a fine of up to $5 million.

DESCRIBE ANY RESTRICTIONS ON ACCEPTING A NEW CLIENT.

Other than the FTRA and NZLS Rules/Regulations mentioned above, there are no specific restrictions under current law. However, under the new AML/CFT Act the lawyer will not be able to accept or act for the new client if unable to conduct the specified level of customer due diligence (standard, simplified or enhanced).

As provided for in section 37, the reporting entity:

  1. Must not establish a business relationship with the customer; and
     
  2. Must terminate any existing business relationship with the customer; and
     
  3. Must not carry out an occasional transaction with or for the customer; and
     
  4. Must consider whether to make a suspicious transactions report; and
     
  5. May disclose the possibility of making a suspicious transaction report only to a person specified under the relevant part of the AML/CFT Act. 

ARE THERE ONGOING MONITORING REQUIREMENTS FOR EXISTING CLIENTS? IF YES, PLEASE DESCRIBE.

Not under the current law. However, under the new AML/CFT Act when lawyers become classified as ‘reporting entities’, they must conduct ongoing customer due diligence and undertake account monitoring as provided for in section 31.


DESCRIBE ANY OTHER WAYS IN WHICH LAWYERS ARE AFFECTED BY ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING LEGISLATION.

Even though not yet specifically regulated as ‘reporting entities’ under the AML/CFT Act, lawyers are already affected in a number of ways as they engage with clients and financial businesses that are now regulated. 

A particularly troublesome area for lawyers, and reporting entities generally, relates to obligations around trusts and ascertaining beneficial ownership. New Zealand has a high proportion of trust structures in operation compared to many countries, and simple ‘family trusts’ are a common structure for holding real estate and conducting real estate transactions. 

Further, lawyers are frequently called upon to act as trustees, and are almost invariably involved in establishment of trusts. Many financial institutions with whom they deal are required by the new AML/CFT Act to ask for considerably more information from lawyers/trustees in future when the trust seeks to conduct almost any kind of financial transaction.

In 2011 a policy decision was taken to include trust and company service providers in the first tranche of coverage of the new AML/CFT Act.  This means that private sector firms who set up, incorporate, register, or administer trusts and corporations on behalf of others are caught by the new law from 30 June 2013. However, lawyers who happen to set up trusts or companies as part of their legal practice, will remain exempt for now, because the legal profession is not yet covered.  This has the potential to create some uncertainty at the margins for some lawyers who may have almost all of the work being in fact the equivalent of a company service provider.  

As noted above, another minor change in practice has been different document certification requirements when witnessing client identity documents for use by banks and reporting entities.


HAVE LAWYERS IN YOUR JURISDICTION BEEN IMPLICATED IN MONEY LAUNDERING, INCLUDING ANY TYPE OF COMPLAINT, ARREST OR PROSECUTION?

There have been a number of prosecutions at District Court level of lawyers for breaches of the FTRA, usually for failing to report suspicious transactions to the FIU of the NZ Police.

Police v Devereux, a 2002 High Court decision, remains the leading case concerning lawyers. The Court on appeal upheld the lower court’s decision to discharge Mr Devereux without conviction.

However, the High Court did doubt whether, in the future, it would be open for a member of the legal profession to plead lack of knowledge of the obligations cast upon them under the FTRA, or the consequences of failing to report a suspicious transaction having regard to the outcome of the case.

The High Court directed that the President of the NZLS make the ramifications of Police v Devereux known to its members at the time, and to a degree it successfully helped in raising awareness of FTRA obligations amongst the legal profession.

On occasion, a lawyer has faced charges under the FTRA for alleged involvement in property scams or for acting/assisting a client in situations on the borderline of fraud and, on even fewer occasions, faced money laundering charges under the Crimes Act.


HAS THE FINANCIAL ACTION TASK FORCE (FATF) CONDUCTED A MUTUAL EVALUATION OF THIS COUNTRY, AND, IF SO, WHAT WERE THE FINDINGS CONCERNING LAWYERS’ COMPLIANCE WITH THE FATF 40+9 RECOMMENDATIONS?

Yes, in 2003, 2009 and another follow up evaluation report was issued in October 2013. FATF noted then that with the new legislation now fully in force since 30 June 2013, this has significantly improved New Zealand’s compliance with the 40+9 recommendations, to the point where New Zealand can be taken off the FATF “follow up” mutual evaluation roster.  However, it is too soon to tell how effectively the new regime will be implemented, and enforced by the Supervisors.

With lawyers currently outside the scope of coverage of the new Act, the residual old FTRA measures are mostly non-compliant with FATF Recommendations in relation to DNFBPs.  So the issue of the legal, accounting and real estate professions remaining outside the new law, will need to be addressed in short order before another full FATF evaluation round takes place.  For this reason, more details on timing and scope of the future inclusion of the legal profession is expected to be forthcoming from New Zealand policy makers during 2014.



Information provided by:

Gary Hughes

Partner
Wilson Harle, Barristers & Solicitors
Auckland, New Zealand
Ph +64-9-915-9726
gary.hughes@wilsonharle.com  



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