AML/CFT supervision and support for businesses

More businesses now have to put systems and processes in place to help tackle money laundering and terrorism financing. Support is available to help you understand and do what’s required.

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Under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act, three government agencies act as supervisors to support and oversee the businesses that have to comply with the law.

To find out if you’ll have to comply with the Act, see the information specific to your sector at:

Tacking money laundering and terrorist financing

Which agency will supervise my business when Phase 2 of the Act comes into effect?

The Department of Internal Affairs will supervise Phase 2 businesses.

The three existing AML/CFT supervisors – the DIA (external link) , the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (external link) and the Financial Markets Authority (external link) – will continue to oversee Phase 1 businesses.

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Why is supervision required?

Supervisors play a critical role in combating money laundering and terrorism financing by:

  • helping businesses comply with the Act and regulations
  • monitoring and assessing money laundering and terrorism financing risks in their sectors and helping businesses understand these risks
  • investigating potential breaches and enforcing the law when necessary
  • ensuring rules work well and that there’s a level playing field for regulated businesses

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What will my supervisor do?

What will my supervisor do?

Some of the things your supervisor will do are:

  • assess the risks in your sector to help you understand how criminals could use your services to launder money or finance terrorism
  • provide support, guidance and feedback to help you comply with AML/CFT laws
  • review your policies and procedures, and inspect your records (this does not apply to high value dealers)
  • investigate and take action if you don’t meet your obligations.

A range of existing guidance material is already available to help get you started. [Note: links coming soon.] Now the Bill has been passed, we plan to engage with sectors to develop regulations, which will provide more clarity, and produce more guidance material.

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How will I have to work with the supervisor?

Your supervisor may ask for information and access to your AML/CFT documents and customer and transaction records to make sure you’re complying with the Act.

By law, you must give your supervisor information or access to information when they ask for it.

How often you’ll need to do this will depend on various factors. Supervisors take a risk-based approach. This means they focus more on supervising businesses that provide products and services which are more at risk of being misused by criminals.

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What happens if I don’t meet my AML/CFT obligations?

If your supervisor has any concerns about your systems and processes or you don’t comply with the law, you’ll have to fix issues that need attention.

You might be given a warning, which may be made public in some circumstances.

There are penalties if you seriously breach the law. For breaches of civil offences, individuals can be fined up to $200,000 and companies can be fined up to $2 million. Repeated failure to comply with AML/CFT obligations, providing false or misleading information and other criminal offences can result in fines up to $5 million for businesses, while individuals can be fined up to $300,000 or sentenced to up to 2 years in prison.

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