5 July, 2012
Proposals to strengthen safeguards against organised crime
Justice Minister Judith Collins is urging the financial services industry to have its say on a final set of regulations under new laws designed to strengthen New Zealand’s financial system against organised crime and ensure it is not used to finance terrorism.
The proposed regulations relate to administrative and minor policy matters and form part of obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act), which comes into force on 30 June next year.
“This Act ensures our trading partners continue to have confidence in our financial sector. It will reduce costs for local firms in international financial dealings by aligning our rules and regulations with international standards,” Ms Collins says.
“It sends a signal that we are a trustworthy trading partner and that our financial sector is robust.”
Ms Collins said the proposals in the consultation document, which was released today on the Ministry of Justice website, generally reduce compliance costs and respond to issues that have been raised by industry.
The proposals include:
- an annual reporting form to help financial institutions and casinos meet their reporting obligations
- information that must be included in suspicious transaction reports submitted to the Police
- exemptions for certain industries to clarify that they are outside the intended scope of the AML/CFT Act
- exemptions to simplify and remove duplication of customer due diligence requirements
- enhancements to certain customer due diligence obligations, such as for international wire transfers.
"The regime will affect a wide range of financial sector businesses and casinos in this country. It’s very important that businesses consider whether the Act has implications for them,” Ms Collins says.
Ms Collins reiterated that a process is in place to assist businesses if they feel they have been caught up in the reforms unintentionally.
Applications for exemption can also be made to the Ministry of Justice, which will consider them on a case-by-case basis.
The consultation document is available from the Ministry of Justice website -http://www.justice.govt.nz/policy/criminal-justice/aml-cft/publications-and-consultation/.
The Ministerial exemption process is also available from the Ministry of Justice website - http://www.justice.govt.nz/policy/criminal-justice/aml-cft/exemptions#ministerial-exemptions.
Submissions on the consultation document close on August 17.