Conveyancers are at risk of being exploited by criminals to launder money. They’re among several professions whose members may be affected by proposed changes to the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act.
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If you’re a conveyancer, you may need to put AML/CFT measures in place once ‘Phase 2’ of the Act comes into effect.
This will help prevent money laundering, make it easier for authorities to find out where ‘dirty’ money came from, prosecute criminals, seize illegally earned money and assets, and stop crime.
Here’s a summary of the proposed changes.
You’ll need to comply with the Act if you provide conveyancing services as part of the sale or purchase of real estate.
The services provided by conveyancers are at high risk of being used by criminals to launder proceeds of crime.
Introducing AML/CFT measures will deter criminals from using your services and help detect them if they do.
Importantly, it will also strengthen the overall AML/CFT system. For example, conveyancers may detect ‘red flags’ that banks and other financial service providers who interact with the same customers may not pick up, because you may have more information about the people and funds involved.
The greater the AML/CFT risks your business faces, the more you’ll have to do to manage these risks. A small firm with long-term local clients will likely have fewer obligations under the AML/CFT Act than a large firm with clients around the world.
Initially, you’ll have to:
On an ongoing basis, you’ll have to:
For information about ways to reduce compliance costs see:
It’s proposed that the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) will supervise conveyancers, as well as other sectors that Phase 2 of the Act will apply to. It will help you comply with the law and enforce it when needed. Some of the things DIA will do include:
For more information see:
The Government intends to pass the law around the middle of 2017.
After that, businesses will have a period of time to prepare for the changes. It’s proposed conveyancers will have to comply 12 months after Parliament passes the Bill.
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