How does the anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism act affect your business?

Phase 1 of the AML/CFT Act came into effect in 2013 and placed obligations on financial institutions and casinos to comply with AML obligations under the AML/CFT Act. Phase 2 brings accountants, lawyers and conveyancers and real estate agents under the AML regime.

An accounting practice that, in the ordinary course of business, carries out one or more of the following captured activities will be a reporting entity under the Act:

Trust and company service provider functions

  • Acting as a formation agent of legal persons or legal arrangements.
  • Acting as, or arranging for a person to act as, a nominee director or nominee shareholder or trustee in relation to legal persons or legal arrangements.
  • Providing a registered office or a business address, a correspondence address, or an administrative address for a company, or a partnership, or for any other legal person or arrangement (unless it is solely for a service which is not in scope).

Gatekeeper functions

  • Managing client funds, accounts, securities, or other assets (other than sums paid as fees for professional services).
  • Engaging in or giving instructions on behalf of a customer to another person for:

– Any conveyancing; or

– The transfer of a beneficial interest in land or other property; or

– A transaction on behalf of any person in relation to the buying, transferring or selling of a business or legal person and any other legal arrangement; or

– A transaction on behalf of a customer in relation to creating, operating, and managing a legal person and any other legal arrangement.

The regime is effective for accountants in practice from 1 October 2018.

From 1 October 2018 Manning Warner Browne will be required to perform customer due diligence (CDD) for new onboarding clients in the circumstances that we are required to conduct one or more activities captured by the AML/CFT Act. An existing client is also required for a CDD if there has been a material change in the nature or purpose of the business relationship.

The CDD involves obtaining and verifying the identity of clients, including full name, date of birth, address, nature and purpose of proposed business relationship plus any other information prescribed by the AML/CFT Act.

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions in relation to the AML/CFT Act.