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Anti-Money Laundering Requirements Under New Zealand Law

From 1 January 2019 Real Estate agents will, among other things, be required to verify the identity of their clients in accordance with AML/CFT legislation. This is called Customer Due Diligence (CDD). This means they are required to identify who their clients are (i.e. who they are acting for). This could be individuals, companies, trusts, or other client types like societies and government departments etc. This means asking for information to verify your full name, date of birth, and residential address. This can be done in several ways but, not unlike the banks, they will ask to see identity documents like your Passport, Driver Licence, utility bill etc. In some cases, they have obligations to establish source of funds and wealth. All real estate agents in New Zealand have legal obligations to comply with the AML/CFT legislation and will be requesting more documents and information than they have in the past.

Source of funds/wealth

In some cases the Real Estate agent will need to establish the source of the funds for the transaction (i.e. where the funds have actually come from) and source of wealth (i.e. how those funds got there in the first place and how was that money obtained) Documentation you may be asked for The below gives an indication of some of the documents your real estate agent may ask you to present in person or as certified documents as part of this process:

Individuals:

Passport, NZ Firearms Licence or NZ Driver Licence with another document such as a bank statement or statement issued by a Government agency. You will also need to provide a document with your residential address (for example, a utility bill)

Trusts:

The Trust Deed and, for trustees, and settlors, the information required for individuals as noted above, together with information regarding the Trust’s source of funds or wealth. Additional information may also be required for beneficiaries. Information regarding source of funds or wealth may also be required.

Companies:

Details of the company, together with the information for individuals noted above for every individual with more than a 25% shareholding, all individuals with effective control of the company and all individuals acting on behalf of the company. Information regarding source of funds or wealth may also be required. The above list is not exhaustive and is indicative only. Your real estate agent will assist you with the specific requirements in relation to your situation. The information you are asked to provide will vary depending on whether you are doing business as an individual or part of a partnership, company, public body, estate or trust. Businesses are not doing this because they think you are laundering money – they are doing it to help protect everyone and because they are required to under the law.

Ministry of Justice have also provided some information, please see the below link – https://www.keepourmoneyclean.govt.nz/


The above material is not legal advice and all aspects of the AML/CFT legislation and guidance must be considered.