Preventing Money Laundering in Real Estate: The Importance of Compliance with the AML/CFT Act
Updated: Apr 13
As a licensed real estate agent in New Zealand, I am committed to complying with the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act) and the requirements set out by the Department of Internal Affairs. These requirements are in place to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism in the New Zealand real estate market.
To ensure compliance with the AML/CFT Act, real estate agents are required to develop and implement a written AML/CFT compliance programme. This programme outlines how risks associated with money laundering and terrorist financing will be identified, assessed, managed and mitigated.
In addition, real estate agents must appoint a compliance officer who is responsible for overseeing the implementation and effectiveness of the compliance programme. All employees must receive AML/CFT training, and the real estate agent must keep records of all compliance activities and transactions for a minimum of five years.
Customer due diligence (CDD) measures are an important part of compliance with the AML/CFT Act. Real estate agents must verify the identity of clients and the beneficial owners of properties, and conduct ongoing monitoring of transactions to identify any suspicious activity.
If a real estate agent fails to comply with the AML/CFT Act, they may face serious consequences. The maximum penalty for non-compliance is $2 million for a business and up to two years imprisonment for an individual. Non-compliance can also damage a real estate agent's reputation and lead to a loss of business.
As a licensed real estate agent, I take my obligations under the AML/CFT Act very seriously. Our office have developed and implemented a compliance programme that is tailored to our business and the specific risks that we face. We have appointed a compliance officer, provide AML/CFT training to all employees, and keep detailed records of all compliance activities and transactions.
By complying with the AML/CFT Act, I am confident that I am doing my part to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing in the New Zealand real estate market. I can assure my clients that their transactions are being conducted in a transparent and lawful manner while also protecting the integrity of the real estate industry in New Zealand.
The AML/CFT Act and the requirements set out by the Department of Internal Affairs are essential tools in preventing money laundering and the financing of terrorism in the New Zealand real estate market.
By complying with these requirements, real estate agents can protect themselves, their clients, and the industry as a whole. I am confident that my compliance programme meets all necessary requirements and that I am doing my part to prevent criminal activity in the real estate market.