Why we need to ask you for information

New Zealand has passed a law called the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (“the AML/CFT Act” for short). The purpose of the law reflects New Zealand’s commitment to the international initiative to counter the impact that criminal activity has on people and economies within the global community.

From 1 July 2018 lawyers must comply with the requirements of the AML/CFT Act and do a number of things to help combat money laundering and terrorist financing. One of those things is called “customer due diligence” where lawyers must obtain and verify information from clients about a range of things.

Customer Due Diligence

Customer due diligence requires a law firm to undertake certain background checks before providing services to clients. In order to comply with the AML/CFT law we need to obtain and verify certain information, including your full name; your date of birth; and your address.

The documents we require to confirm your name and date of birth include:

  • any of a New Zealand Passport; a New Zealand Firearms Licence; or an Overseas Passport (provided it contains the requisite information); OR
  • a New Zealand Driver’s Licence AND a non-photographic identification issued from an independent source (e.g. full birth certificate; bank statement; IRD statement; Super Gold Card); OR
  • an 18+ Card AND a full birth certificate.

The type of documents we require to confirm your address include rates bills, utilities bills, bank statements, or IRD statements.

Other information

If you are seeing us about a company or trust business, we will need information about the company or trust including the people associated with it (such as directors, shareholders, trustees and beneficiaries).

We may also need to ask you for further information (including information confirming the source of funds for a transaction or source of wealth for the company or trust).

If you cannot provide the required information

If we are not able to obtain the required information from you, the law prohibits us from acting for you. We need to ask for the information even if you have been a client of ours for a long time.

Please contact the lawyer who will be undertaking your work, if you have any queries or concerns.

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