AML/CFT due diligence requirements for Lawyers
Your CDD obligations as a lawyer or conveyancer under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (the AML/CFT Act)
Lawyers/Conveyancers that have previously been instructed by Westpac
The AML/CFT Act does not, in general, require you to perform customer due diligence on existing clients. This means that in most cases, if you have previously been instructed by Westpac, you should be able to continue to act for Westpac after 1 July 2018 without requiring any further identity information or documents from Westpac or its employees.
Please note, however, that the AML/CFT Act requires you to perform ongoing customer due diligence if there is a material change in the nature or purpose of Westpac’s relationship with you. If you consider you require any information from us or our employees in such circumstances, please let us know as soon as possible.
New Lawyers/Conveyancers should take a risk-based approach
The NZLS has confirmed that “for any new business relationship with a registered bank, a law firm may conduct simplified CDD in accordance with section(s) 18-20 of the Act. This means in relation to a registered bank, the law firm may conduct simplified CDD on the bank and the person acting on its behalf”.
Section 20 of the AML/CFT Act also permits a risk-based approach be taken to verification. This risk-based approach has been confirmed by the New Zealand Law Society in its guidance. Using a risk-based assessment, a verification of authority and identity in respect of persons acting on behalf of a registered bank will not be required.
What Westpac can do to assist you to comply with the AML/CFT Act
If you consider that you need to perform customer due diligence on a person acting on behalf of Westpac, please let us know.
Westpac will then provide you with an Information Form containing the full name, date of birth and job title of the person acting on behalf of Westpac to fulfil your due diligence requirements.