Anti-Money laundering regulations

Since 2013, financial institutions, such as banks, have had to comply with Anti-Money Laundering regulations. These rules have now been extended to other businesses providing financial services, such as real estate agents, accountants and lawyers.

The regulations are designed to prevent criminals laundering money through legitimate New Zealand businesses and apply predominantly where financial transactions are involved.

The rules require affected businesses to formally identify their customers and understand the true source of funds for every individual they interact with, before they can undertake certain work. This is likely to incur additional costs for affected businesses, but there is no way around it, and the fines for non-compliance outweigh the cost.

The extension of these regulations seeks to ensure New Zealand continues to protect and enhance its reputation as a good place to do business and is meeting international standards. However, they may slow down the time it takes to get professional assistance.