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AML/CFT guidance and resources

Guidance, codes of practice and other resources to help banks, life insurers and non-bank deposit takers comply with the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009. 

Codes of practice

Codes of practice relevant to the organisations we supervise under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act) are listed below.

These are designed to help you comply with your regulatory obligations.

While not mandatory, they can provide a defence against charges of non-compliance (a ‘safe-harbour’) if followed correctly. If you fully comply with the code, you are deemed to be compliant with the relevant parts of the AML/CFT Act.

If you choose to opt out of the code, you must let your supervisor know. You must also adopt practices that are just as effective, otherwise you risk non-compliance.

Amended Identity Verification Codes of Practice

In July 2021, the AML/CFT supervisors published an updated explanatory note to the Amended Identity Verification Code of Practice (AIVCOP) 2013, which replaced the previous versions published in 2017 and 2013.

The Amended Identity Verification Code of Practice came into force on 1 November 2013.

Triple-branded statements issued by AML/CFT supervisors

A triple-branded factsheet was published by the AML/CFT supervisors on 16 July 2021 to provide guidance in relation to birth certificates with redacted information when conducting customer due diligence.

The July 2019 statement below clarifies the use of the Kiwi Access Card as a form of identification under the Amended Identity Verification Code of Practice 2013.

The August 2019 statement below clarifies the use of an expired passport under the Amended Identity Verification Code of Practice 2013.

Statement on new AML/CFT regulations

The May 2024 statement below outlines the Department of Internal Affairs, the Financial Markets Authority and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand supervisory approach for the various Amendment Regulations coming into force on 1 June 2024.

Sector risk assessment

As a supervisor under the AML/CFT Act, we must assess the level of risk of money laundering and terrorism financing across all the reporting entities we supervise.

We published an updated sector risk assessment in April 2017 to help reporting entities prepare and review individual risk assessments of money laundering and terrorism financing risk under Sections 58 and 59 of the AML/CFT Act.

Annual reporting

The AML/CFT Act requires all reporting entities to prepare an annual report.

Read more about complying with the AML/CFT legislation

Thematic and targeted reviews

In August 2021, we published a report on the Correspondent Banking, Prescribed Transaction Reporting and Transaction Monitoring Survey. The survey assessed the extent to which the allegations made by AUSTRAC against Westpac Australia may or may not be present within the banking sector in New Zealand. The survey included questions about registered banks’ policies, procedures and controls in relation to the following:


Below is a list of guidelines to help you meet your obligations.

Verifying identity during COVID-19

Onsite visit guidelines for reporting entities

This guideline is to help banks, life insurers and non-bank deposit takers understand the process of our AML/CFT onsite inspections including the planning stage, pre-visit requests, timeframes and our onsite report.

Interpreting ‘ordinary course of business’ guideline

The ordinary course of business guideline helps clarify the meaning of the phrase ‘in the ordinary course of business’ in the AML/CFT Act. It is relevant for any organisation defined as a financial institution under the Act.

Territorial scope guideline

This guideline is designed to help businesses carrying out financial activities both within and outside of New Zealand to determine if they have obligations under the AML/CFT Act in New Zealand.

Audit guideline

This guideline sets out what you need to consider when arranging an audit of a risk assessment or AML/CFT programme, as required under Section 59(2) of the AML/CFT Act.

Beneficial ownership guideline

The beneficial ownership guideline (updated 2024) will help identify and verify a customer's beneficial owners. It also has information to help you understand the difference between a beneficial owner and a person acting on behalf of a customer.

Wire transfers guideline

This guideline clarifies what types of transactions are wire transfers under the AML/CFT Act. It also describes who the parties are in a transaction and what responsibilities they have.

Managing intermediaries guideline

The Financial Markets Authority has published a class exemption for managing intermediaries on its website.

View the class exemption for managing intermediaries

Enhanced customer due diligence

This guideline (updated 2024) is designed to help you understand what is required to carry out enhanced customer due diligence under the AML/CFT Act.

AML/CFT Programme Guideline

This guideline is designed to help you develop and implement your AML programme under the AML/CFT Act.

Customer due diligence factsheets and guidelines

Our newsletters

Conference and seminar presentations

Further guidance and information

The AML/CFT Supervisors have published urgent guidance related to the impact of Russia Sanctions on AML/CFT reporting entities

Impact of Russia Sanctions on AML/CFT reporting entities (PDF 428KB)

The AML/CFT Supervisors have published urgent guidance related to verifying a person’s identity during COVID-19 Level 4. Please find this guidance below.

AMLCFT Supervisor Guidance COVID-19 (PDF 20KB)

The NZ Police Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has published an updated National Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Risk Assessment (‘NRA’) in November 2019. The NRA sets out the current understanding of the scale and nature of the criminality risks faced by New Zealand.

Read the National Risk Assessment 2019 (PDF 493KB)

The NZ Police FIU produce guidance material, including typologies of money laundering and financing of terrorism transactions which are published on their website.

Go to the FIU reports section

NZ Police FIU also publish guidance information for reporting entities on their obligations to report suspicious activities and prescribed transactions, and how to meet those obligations.

Visit the New Zealand Police FIU website for more information

Further information on the development and review of the AML/CFT legislation and related regulations can be found on the Ministry of Justice website.

Visit Ministry of Justice website

Following the Christchurch terrorist attacks on 15 March 2019 New Zealand’s national threat level was assessed as high. As a result, New Zealand Police FIU published an update on 3 April on implications of threat level for reporting entities. The threat level has since been downgraded to medium – a terrorist attack is assessed as feasible and could well occur.

Read the 3 April Update from the New Zealand Police following Christchurch incident (PDF 150KB)

Contact details

If you have any questions and need further information, can contact our AML/CFT team using [email protected]