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Accountants to join fight against “dirty money”

15 August 2017

Accountants to join fight against “dirty money”


New legislation clears the way for professional financial ‘gatekeepers’, including accountants, to help stop criminals turning ‘dirty money’ into clean,” says Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand’s Acting Reporting Leader Zowie Pateman.

“The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Amendment Act 2017, which brings accountants into the AML regime from October next year, will lift public and international confidence in New Zealand’s financial systems,” Pateman said.

CA ANZ has welcomed the extension of the regime to the accounting profession.

Pateman said the new law brings New Zealand into line with international best practice and allows the country to meet its international obligations.

Money laundering is a process where ‘dirty money’ received from criminal activities, such as drug dealing, theft and tax evasion, is passed through legitimate businesses and turned into ‘clean money’. There have been instances of professional advisers being used unwittingly by criminals to launder money.

“It is a significant problem, both here and worldwide,” Pateman said. “Estimates put the amount of money laundering that occurs in New Zealand at NZ$1.5 billion every year. That’s about 1 percent of GDP.”

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) will oversee and enforce the regime for all Phase 2 reporting entities, such as accountants, real estate agents, conveyancers, lawyers, and businesses trading in high-value goods such as cars, boats, jewellery, bullion, art and antiquities. Phase 1 already applies to banks, casinos and a range of financial service providers.

“We will be working closely with the DIA to help our members comply with the new legislation,” said Pateman.

ends

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