Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Finance of Terrorism Act 2009
From 1 October 2018, the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (the Act) will apply to Shand Thomson and all other New Zealand accountancy firms.
The Act requires all accountancy firms to mitigate the risk of being used to facilitate money laundering and terrorism financing and to identify potentially suspicious activities. In order to do this, Shand Thomson must collect and verify identity information about all prospective clients and most existing clients. In some cases, we must also collect and validate the client's source of wealth/funds and information about specific transactions.
Shand Thomson will need to ask for the required information about identity (and, where an entity is instructing us, the identity of individuals associated with that entity) either on instruction or over the next few months. We may use an electronic identity verification tool, however, we will also require you to provide further documents in order to manually verify your identity, such as a passport, driver licence or birth certificate, and a bank statement or utility bill to verify your address.
Please do not be concerned when we ask for more information or documents. We are legally required to obtain this information from all clients, even those who have been a client of the firm for many years. If we are not able to collect and verify the required information, we will not be able to act for you.
Implementing these measures will help to enhance New Zealand's reputation as a safe place to do business and will deter criminals from attempting to use our services to finance illegal activity.