Client Due Diligence (“CDD”) –
Anti-Money Laundering and Countering of Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (“AML/CFT Act”)
We advise all clients that from 1 July 2018 all lawyers become subject to the AML/CFT Act. Matters that you instruct us on will require us to first complete client due diligence (“CDD”) which requires us (after 1 July 2018) to obtain information from our clients that is required by the AML/CFT Act before we can act for them. Other factors which may increase the need for enhanced due diligence by us are as follows:
Countries identified by credible sources as having significant levels of organised crime, corruption, or other criminal activity, including source or transit countries for illegal drugs, human trafficking and smuggling and illegal gambling;
Countries subject to sanctions, embargoes or similar measures issued by international organisations such as the United Nations.
Many of our immigration clients will already be familiar with having to provide this information to a number of financial institutions (including banks) and from 1 July, the AML/CFT Act requires lawyers to collect this as well and complete due diligence on our clients in accordance with the AML/CFT Act. As such, you will need to provide to us with the required information so we can complete CDD and can verify our clients in accordance with the AML/CFT Act, noting that CDD for overseas clients is likely to be more complex than for New Zealand based clients. In situations where our clients are trusts or companies or other similar bodies corporate, the AML/CFT legislation will require us to obtain enhanced CDD information about key parties associated with those entities (such as key shareholders, trustees, settlors and certain beneficiaries) so please be aware that this could require you to provide CDD information for multiple individuals or entities.
We will need to obtain and verify certain information from you to meet these legal requirements. This information includes:
1. Your full name;
2. Your date of birth;
3. Your full residential address;
4. A scanned copy of the bio page of your current passport.
To confirm these details, documents such as your driver’s licence or your birth certificate, and documents that show your address - such as a current bank statement - will be required. If you are seeing us about company or trust business, we will need information about the company or trust including the people associated with it (such as directors and shareholders, trustees and beneficiaries).
We may also need to ask you for further information. We will need to ask you about the nature and purpose of the proposed work you are asking us to do for you. Information confirming the source of funds for a transaction may also be necessary to meet the legal requirements.
We ask that all our clients complete the CDD process as quickly as possible on request to ensure that we can complete any new work you may need us to perform after 1 July 2018, otherwise, we may be prohibited from acting for you. While there are ongoing client monitoring requirements under the AML/CFT Act, in almost all circumstances (unless details about our clients change considerably), the initial CDD we ask you to complete should be the only full CDD you are required to complete.
Our terms of engagement have been updated as a consequence of the AML/CFT Act and our new terms of engagement will apply in respect of all new matters we conduct for our clients. We appreciate that these requirements may be somewhat frustrating for our clients but they are a mandatory requirement placed on lawyers from 1 July under the AML/CFT Act and we must complete the CDD process to comply with that legislation – and we thank you for your patience in advance.