New Zealand is a target for money launderers. It is estimated that well over $1 billion a year from drug dealing and fraud is laundered through New Zealand businesses.
New Zealand introduced its Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing Terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation in 2009. The Banks, financial institutions and many other sectors have been operating under the legislation since June 2013 and Real Estate agents will be captured under the legislation from 1 January 2019.
From 1 January 2019 Real Estate agents will, among other things, be required to verify the identity of their clients in accordance with AML/CFT legislation. This is called Customer Due Diligence (CDD).
This means they are required to identify who their clients are (i.e. who they are acting for). This could be individuals, companies, trusts, or other client types like societies and government departments etc. This means asking for information to verify your full name, date of birth, and residential address. This can be done in several ways but, not unlike the banks, they will ask to see identity documents like your Passport, Driver Licence, utility bill etc. In some cases, they have obligations to establish source of funds and wealth.
All real estate agents in New Zealand have legal obligations to comply with the AML/CFT legislation and will be requesting more documents and information than they have in the past.
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