Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism – What this means for clients from 1 July 2018
We want to let you know about the implementation of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act). The law change that applies to all law firms from 1 July 2018 and already applies to banks and financial services providers. It will soon be implemented to Accountants and Real Estate Agents.
Anti-Money Laundering measures have been adopted by responsible countries to make it harder for criminals to profit from proceeds of crime and Countering of Financing of Terrorism measures aim to restrict the flow of money to terrorist groups.
Criminals have been known to use law firms to hold funds and move assets derived from the proceeds of crime. By implementing robust anti-money laundering measures, this will help us to prevent and detect criminals from using our services for criminal purposes.
A cornerstone of the Anti-Money Laundering legislation is the requirement that we complete “customer due diligence” on our clients. This means that we will ask you to provide us with proof of your identity and providing us verification of your residential address. In some situations, we may also be required to obtain evidence of your income, wealth and the source of funds used to settle a transaction.
For the bulk of our clients this will mean that we will ask to see your passport and a bank statement / rates invoice or utility bill which has been addressed to your residential address and holding these on our file for audit purposes. We may require further information from you at a later stage should your circumstances change (i.e. you move address).
For trusts, companies and overseas clients we may need more information and we will let you know specifically what will be required from you before we act for you.
For new clients and for existing clients instructing us to act on a new matter we will need to complete customer due diligence before we can act for you on your matter.
If we are unable to complete our customer due diligence procedures, we will not be able to act for you.
We will endeavour to make the customer due diligence process as easy as possible for our clients and once we have received the requested information to complete our due diligence procedures, we look forward to working together to achieve your best outcome.
To read more about Anti-Money Laundering please click here.