Conveyancers are at risk of being exploited by criminals to launder money. They’re among several professions whose members are affected by changes to the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act.
To help conveyancers understand the risks they face and build their compliance programmes, helpful guidance is available on the Department of Internal Affairs website. See the Codes of practice and guidance (external link) and the sector risk assessment (external link) .
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If you’re a conveyancer, you will need to put AML/CFT measures in place.
This will help prevent money laundering, make it easier for authorities to find out where ‘dirty’ money came from, prosecute criminals, seize illegally earned money and assets, and stop crime and terrorism.
Here’s a summary of the proposed changes.
You’ll need to comply with the Act if you provide conveyancing services as part of the sale or purchase of real estate.
If you provide any of the services outlined above, you’ll have to comply from 1 July 2018.
To get ready, you’ll need to take a number of steps beforehand. For more information, see “What do I have to do to comply with the AML/CFT Act?”
The services provided by conveyancers are at risk of being used by criminals to launder proceeds of crime.
Introducing AML/CFT measures will deter criminals from using your services and help detect them if they do.
Importantly, it will also strengthen the overall AML/CFT system. For example, a conveyancer may detect ‘red flags’ that might not be picked up by banks or other financial service providers who interact with the same customers. That’s because you may have more information about the people or funds involved in a particular transaction
The greater the AML/CFT risks your business faces, the more you’ll have to do to manage these risks. A small firm with long-term local clients may have fewer risks than a large firm with clients around the world.
Initially, you’ll have to:
On an ongoing basis, you’ll have to:
For information about ways to reduce compliance costs see: Working with others to reduce your AML/CFT compliance costs
The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) will supervise conveyancers, as well as other businesses that Phase 2 of the Act applies to. DIA will help you comply with the law and enforce it when needed. Some of the things DIA will do include:
A range of existing guidance material is already available to help get you started. Now the Bill has been passed, we plan to engage with sectors to develop regulations, which will provide more clarity, and produce more guidance material. For more information see: AML/CFT supervision and support for businesses
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