Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


AML legislation cost real estate profession in excess of 20M

The cost of implementing the Anti-Money Laundering legislation this year has cost the real estate profession in excess of $20 million according to new research* undertaken by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

From 1 January this year, all real estate agencies became reporting entities and were required to undertake the following actions:

Verify vendors’ identity by collecting identity documentation, and in some cases, financial information – this is known as Customer Due Diligence (CDD)
Report suspicious transactions to the Police Financial Intelligence Unit e.g. if a purchaser wants to pay their deposit with large amounts of cash
Have written compliance programmes including an assessment of the particular agency’s risk of encountering money laundering
Ensure that all their agents are trained in AML
File annual reports to the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), and
Be independently audited every two years.
Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “The AML legislation has required a significant level of upskilling across the industry as well as the implementation of new systems and processes and in many cases hiring new people as compliance officers; all of which comes at a cost.

“Conservative estimates are that it’s cost the profession in excess of $20 million to implement the systems and processes to meet the AML legislation, most of which has been absorbed internally rather than being passed on,” she continues.

“Additionally, it’s likely to cost the industry in excess of $25 million each year to manage compliance on an ongoing basis. As a result, REINZ will be looking at ways to reduce duplication across difference industries and thereby help improve efficiencies for our members,” points out Norwell.

“While meeting the AML legislation has come at a significant cost to the industry, estimates suggest that more than $1.35 billion of illicit funds are laundered every year in New Zealand, so it’s essential that real estate agents play their part in protecting the country against money laundering,” continues Norwell.

“This year has seen the real estate profession join a growing list of industries required to comply with AML legislation. The thinking is that the more industries that are involved, the less chances there are for illegal activity to slip through the cracks and that by having a ‘herd immunity approach’ that the overall AML/CFT system is strengthened as agents might be able to pick up on ‘red flags’ that could be missed by other providers interacting with the same customers due to the close relationship agents form with people,” concludes Norwell.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Paymark: Lockdown Equals Slowdown For Some

The three days of lockdown for Auckland earlier this month made a clear impression on our retail spending figures. While only Auckland moved into Level 3 lockdown, the impact was felt across the country, albeit at different levels. Looking at the ... More>>

Infrastructure Commission: Te Waihanga Releases Report On Water Infrastructure

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga’s latest discussion document highlights the importance of current reforms in the water sector. Its State of Play discussion document about water infrastructure is one of a series looking at the ... More>>

Sci-Tech: Perseverance Rover Lands On Mars – Expert Reaction

NASA has landed a car-sized rover on the red planet to search for signs of past life. The vehicle has more instruments than the four rovers preceding it, and it’s also carrying gear that could help pave the way for human exploration of Mars. The ... More>>


ASB: Quarterly Economic Forecast Predicts OCR Hike As Early As August 2022

Predictions of interest rate rises have been brought forward 12 months in ASB’s latest Quarterly Economic Forecast. Chief Economist Nick Tuffley now expects the RBNZ to begin raising the OCR from its current level of 0.25% as early as August ... More>>

ACT: Matariki Almost A Half Billion Dollar Tax On Business

“Official advice to the Government says an extra public holiday at Matariki could cost almost $450 million,” ACT Leader David Seymour can reveal. “This is a perfect example of the Prime Minister doing what’s popular versus what’s responsible. ... More>>

Genesis: Assessing 6,000 GWh Of Renewable Generation Options For Development By 2025

Genesis is assessing 6,000 GWh of renewable generation options for development after starting a closed RFP process with 11 partners. Those invited to participate offer a range of technologies as Genesis continues to execute its Future-gen strategy to ... More>>

OECD: Unemployment Rate Stable At 6.9% In December 2020, 1.7 Percentage Points Higher Than In February 2020

The OECD area unemployment rate was stable at 6.9% in December 2020, remaining 1.7 percentage points above the level observed in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the labour market. [1] In December, the unemployment rate was also stable ... More>>

Stats NZ: Unemployment Drops To 4.9 Percent As Employment Picks Up

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent in the December 2020 quarter, from 5.3 percent in the September 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Last quarter’s unemployment rate of 5.3 percent followed the largest increase observed ... More>>