New responsibilities for Lawyers:
From 1 July 2018, all New Zealand Lawyers will have to comply with the Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (“AML”).
The whole purpose of these new rules is to make money laundering difficult for criminals and restrict or stop funds flowing to terrorist organisations. You might have noticed new rules in Banks about the depositing of cash. Now it is the turn of Lawyers to comply and soon accountants and Real Estate agents will have to comply also.
Lawyer’s Trust Accounts are potentially an easy way to launder money from the proceeds of crime or to hide money from its original illegal or criminal source. From 1 July 2018 Lawyers will have a duty to report suspicious transactions to the Police.
From the 1 July 2018 we are required to “know our clients” and to carry out Client due Diligence. In practice this means we need to verify who you are by obtaining:
- Copies of your photo ID
- Copy of a bank statement or other official document (utility bill) which confirms your address.
If you are a Company or a Trust we will need this information for:
We may even need to verify the source of the funds coming into our trust account.
JMJ Lawyers Ltd and Property Planit staff will be asking for this information the next time we see you if we don’t have it already. We won’t be able to act for you if we cannot complete the Client due Diligence so we really appreciate your co-operation.
If you have any concerns at all, please speak to Neil Dickson the General Manager on 03 687 9010.