Does my business need to worry about an anti-money laundering/counter-financing terrorism programme?
If you are financial service providers, lawyers, accountants or real estate agents, then yes. After 1 August 2019, NZ Racing Board, sports betting, and businesses that sell high value items such as cars, boats, motorbikes, jewellery, art, antiques, etc., must also comply.
What happens if I don’t comply?
Failure to address your AML/CFT obligations can result in significant penalties for your business and senior management:
- Individuals can be fined up to $200,000 and companies can be fined up to $2 million
Repeated failure to comply with AML/CFT obligations, providing false or misleading information and other criminal offences can result in:
- Individuals can be fined up to $300,000 or sentenced to up to 2 years in prison
- Fines up to $5 million for businesses
Breaches can include:
- Not undertaking an adequate ML/TF Risk Assessment
- Not having or maintaining an AML/CFT Programme
- Not undertaking client due diligence
- Not reporting suspicious activity
Compliance Officers are also liable
How does AML/CFT Compliance actually make a difference?
The international community has made the fight against money-laundering and the financing of terrorism a priority. Included among the goals of this effort are protecting the integrity and stability of the international financial system, the cutting-off of resources available to terrorists, and making it more difficult for those engaged in crime to profit from their criminal activities. It also helps to keep New Zealand’s reputation intact as one of the least corrupt countries in the world.