AML easily explained

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By now you may have heard of the Anti Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Act 2009. Otherwise known by it’s acronym AML. It is legislation that is in place to help crack down on illegal activities, white collar and organised crime, including money laundering and terrorism. Money laundering is how criminals try and disguise the origin of their money. People who finance terrorism also use similar techniques to avoid detection and protect identities of those providing and receiving the funds.

About the act

The Act came into full force on 30 June 2013. It places an obligation on us as Accountants and many other financial institutions and business professionals such as lawyers or real estate agents to do our due diligence on our clients and to take the appropriate steps to guard against this type of crime. It helps create a safe place in Aotearoa New Zealand for doing business.

How does it affect you?

If you are an individual, business, family trust, estate or partnership we are obliged to request specific identification information and evidence. We would need the information of anyone who holds more than 25% shares in a company, Directors of a company. Trustees of a trust, Executors of an estate and we would need the information of any beneficiaries.

What documents are required?

When you first come in to meet with one of our Consultants, we would normally ask for you to bring with you some original documentation of your ID and where you reside. ID options include your Passport or NZ Drivers Licence with a secondary document such as a bank statement issued by a registered bank in the last 12 months. We also need proof of your residential address and can be in the form of a bank statement, a recent statement issued by the likes of IRD which is a Government agency or it could even be a utility bill. It needs to be current and valid

Trusts and Estates have a little bit of extra documentation required in the form of the Trust Deed, and also information to verify the Trust or Estate’s source of funds. This could also be documented on the Trust Deed or in the event of it being an Estate, the Will.

Electronic Verification

An easier way of performing an AML check is to use what we call BioVerify. We send you a link to your nominated email address which you can access from a smart phone. In around four easy steps you capture your ID document (either NZ Passport or NZ Drivers Licence), take a photo of yourself and enter in your address. The software will then check all the details, give you an opportunity to correct anything and then they will use data sources such as Land Information NZ or a retail energy account you may hold to match your details and confirm who you are.

We trust you have found this explanation helpful next time you get asked for an AML check. If you have any questions or would like to chat with the ilumin team about support with your financial arrangements drop us a line here.