Improvement of New Zealand's anti-money laundering regime
has been on the agenda since the intergovernmental Financial Action
Task Force (FATF) reviewed the existing financial transactions
reporting regime in 2003, and identified a significant number of
areas for improvement.
Five years, and three discussion papers later, the Ministry of
Justice released a draft 'Anti-Money Laundering and Countering
Financing of Terrorism' Bill (AML Bill) for public consultation
in September. The stated aim is to introduce an effective, low-cost
regime that allows New Zealand to meet its international
The first round of submissions closed only three weeks after the
AML Bill was released and the Ministry is currently undertaking its
initial review of the AML Bill. Detailed Cabinet policy decisions
are expected to be released in February 2009, along with a summary
report on submissions. The Ministry's aim is to have the AML
Bill introduced to Parliament around April 2009 - coinciding with
the FATF's next planned visit to New Zealand to assess
progress. The change in government is unlikely to delay the
progress of the legislation.
There will be a further opportunity for the public to make
submissions as part of the usual select committee process, so those
who were caught out by the brevity of the initial consultation
period will still have an opportunity to contribute.
We are closely watching several aspects of the development of
the AML Bill and the regulatory regime it will herald. These
include the treatment of financial service providers who provide
products and services falling into several categories (who may be
subject to scrutiny by several of the AML supervisors), of
trans-Tasman financial service providers (who will be subject to
supervision by the Australian regulator AUSTRAC, as well as by the
New Zealand supervisors) and of term life insurance (for which the
definitions are currently far from clear). Please contact us if you
have an interest in any of these or other aspects of the AML
Phillips Fox has changed its name to DLA Phillips Fox
because the firm entered into an exclusive alliance with DLA Piper,
one of the largest legal services organisations in the world. We
will retain our offices in every major commercial centre in
Australia and New Zealand, with no operational change to your
relationship with the firm. DLA Phillips Fox can now take your
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This publication is intended as a first point of reference
and should not be relied on as a substitute for professional
advice. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation
to any particular circumstances and no liability will be accepted
for any losses incurred by those relying solely on this
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