Recent changes to New Zealand’s Anti-Money Laundering legislation mean that from 1 October 2018, accountants are required to collect and verify identification and other personal information about our clients, individuals who own or control clients, and individuals instructing us on behalf of clients. This is called “customer due diligence” or ‘CDD’ and is a type of background check very similar to what you would have experienced already when dealing with your bank.
The purpose of the AML/CFT Act is to detect and deter money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and maintain and enhance New Zealand’s international reputation as a country difficult to launder money through. This contributes to public confidence in New Zealand’s financial system.
To meet the requirements of the AML/CFT Act, Findex will be implementing processes and controls for on-boarding new clients, updating existing client identification and the reporting of suspicious activity and transactions.
CDD verification requirements are similar to banks and Lawyers, and we must sight the source documents like a passport and drivers’ licence and record that information, even if we have an existing relationship with you.
This process will be implemented immediately for any new client relationships from 1 October 2018, and for existing clients as we are engaged to carry out any services that may vary from what is currently provided. Over time we are obliged to carry out CDD for all existing clients. Where practical, we will be looking to complete CDD in anticipation of any changes in services, to ensure this does not affect the timely delivery of these services to you.
To undertake the above, we may request proof of identification information or documentation from you like a passport, driver’s license and address verification (e.g. utilities bill).
If you have any questions about this, please contact your adviser.