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New legislation requires accountants to obtain more information from clients prior to undertaking an engagement

From 1 October 2018, the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (“the Act”) will apply to Blackmore Virtue & Owens and all other New Zealand Chartered Accountancy firms captured by the Act.

The purposes of the Act are:

  • to detect and deter money laundering and the financing of terrorism;
  • to maintain and enhance New Zealand’s international reputation by adopting recommendations issued by the Financial Action Task Force; and
  • to contribute to public confidence in the financial system.

The Act requires Blackmore Virtue & Owens to assess the money laundering and terrorist financing risk we may face in our business and to identify potentially suspicious activity. To make that assessment we must carry out customer due diligence on new and existing clients.

How the Act affects our existing clients

Blackmore Virtue & Owens must collect and verify identity information about existing and prospective clients along with other information to help us perform the required Customer Due Diligence.

Information we are required to collect for individuals include client’s full name, date of birth and address, and certified documents such as a drivers licence, bank statement etc. We also need each client to complete a client profile information form including details on persons acting on your behalf, beneficial owners and in some cases your source of funds and/or wealth.

For trusts, we need information about the trust, individuals connected with the trust such as the trustees and settlors and the trust source of funds and/or wealth. We must also take steps to make sure the information we have is correct such as verifying it with a service provider who performs drivers licence and address verifications.

For existing clients we already hold some information about you as part of your engagement with us. Some of this information may meet the Act’s address verification requirements. However, we may need you to complete client profile information for information we do not have and take copies of your driver’s licence next time you are in the office.

Want to know more?

If you have any questions about these changes and how they will affect you, please contact: Alex Houghton (Director).