AML/CFT guidance and publications
Table of contents of information found on this page
- Sector Risk Assessment
- Annual Reports
- Codes of Practice
- RBNZ Presentation Slides
- AML/CFT Newsletters
- Further guidance and information
One of the statutory functions of an AML/CFT supervisor is to assess the level of risk of money laundering and terrorism financing across all the reporting entities it supervises.
The Reserve Bank published its Sector Risk Assessment in April 2017.
More information on Sector Risk Assessment
- AML/CFT FAQs
- News release: Reserve Bank updates its assessment of money laundering and terrorism financing risks
- Read the Information Pack produced by the AML/CFT supervisors (PDF 164KB)
The AML/CFT Act requires all reporting entities to prepare an annual report.
The Bank has nominated 31 August 2020 as the due date for submitting an annual AML/CFT report. Reporting entities supervised by the Reserve Bank are required to provide an annual report to us by midday on Monday 31 August 2020 in respect of the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.
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Forms are required to be returned to the Reserve Bank in typed PDF format, using the secure upload facility.
Do not upload handwritten or scanned/signed forms. Your unique code should appear on the last page, in lieu of a signature.
The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (Requirements and Compliance) Amendment Regulations prescribe the form and content of the annual report. The regulations were updated in 2017.
Under the AML/CFT Act, supervisors are empowered to develop Codes of Practice Containing suggested methods that reporting entities can use to comply with their regulatory obligations. While not mandatory, they can provide a defence against charges of non-compliance (a "safe-harbour"), if followed correctly. Codes of Practice relevant to the firms supervised by the RBNZ will appear here.
Amended Identity Verification Code of Practice 2013
On 10 October 2013 an Amended Identity Verification Code of Practice (AIVCOP) was gazetted under section 64 of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act). The amendments come into force on 1 November 2013.
The Identity Verification Code of Practice Explanatory Note, published in December 2017, clarifies requirements for electronic identity verification in accordance with the AIVCOP.
This December 2017 update replaces the previous version that was published in 2013.
A triple-branded statement was published by the AML/CFT supervisors on 5 July 2019 to clarify the use of the new Kiwi Access Card as a form of ID under the AIVCOP.
A triple-branded statement was published by the AML/CFT supervisors on 9 August 2019 to clarify the use of an expired passport as a form of ID under AIVCOP.
Complying with a code of practice is not mandatory, although it constitutes a safe harbour. If a reporting entity fully complies with the Code it is deemed to be compliant with the relevant parts of the AML/CFT Act. If a reporting entity opts out of the Code, it must inform its supervisor and must adopt practices that are equally effective, otherwise it risks non-compliance.
Supervisors are also empowered to develop guidelines and other guidance aimed at helping reporting entities meet their obligations.
The purpose of this guideline is to explain the shared objectives of the three AML/CFT supervisors. It provides an explanation of the actions, strategies, tools and techniques that are used by the supervisors to achieve these objectives.
This November 2019 update replaces the previous version that was published in 2012.
The purpose of this guideline is to help reporting entities understand the process of an Anti-Money Laundering/Countering Financing of Terrorism on-site inspection conducted by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. It provides details on the planning stage, pre-visit requests, the actual on-site and the structure and timeframes of the on-site report to be issued to a reporting entity.
A risk assessment is the first step that a reporting entity must take before developing a programme to address money laundering and terrorism financing risks. It involves identifying and assessing the risks a business might reasonably expect to face. The Risk assessment guideline is designed to help reporting entities conduct a risk assessment, as required under section 58 of the AML/CFT Act. Once a risk assessment is completed, a reporting entity must then put in place an AML/CFT programme that manages and mitigates these risks.
Developing an AML/CFT programme is the next step after conducting a risk assessment. It involves developing the procedures, policies and controls to manage and mitigate money laundering and terrorism financing risks. A reporting entity's AML/CFT programme must be based on its risk assessment. This guideline is designed to help reporting entities develop their AML/CFT programme as required under section 56 of the AML/CFT Act.
The Enhanced Customer Due Diligence Guideline has been updated in September 2020, it is designed to assist reporting entities to understand their enhanced CDD requirements under the AML/CFT Act.
The Ordinary Course of Business Guideline, published in December 2017, helps to clarify the meaning of the phrase "in the ordinary course of business", as found in the AML/CFT Act. The guideline, and the meaning of this phrase, is important if your business carries on an activity that is listed under the definition of 'financial institution' in the Act.
This December 2017 update replaces the previous version that was published in 2012.
This guideline provides information relating to the carrying on of financial activities by businesses both within and outside New Zealand. The Territorial Scope guideline, published November 2019, is designed to assist businesses to determine whether they have obligations under the AML/CFT Act in New Zealand. This November 2019 update replaces the previous version that was published in 2012.
The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (Exemptions) Regulations 2011 exempt certain relevant services from the AML/CFT Act or parts of the Act. The Insurance Business Coverage guideline, published February 2012, helps to clarify some exemptions available in these regulations as they apply to insurance.
You are required to assess the AML/CFT risks associated with the countries you deal with. For example, this may be necessary when you deal with a non-resident customer, or an overseas institution. The Countries assessment guideline, published July 2012, will help you decide when you need to undertake an assessment and how to approach an assessment.
This guideline provides an overview of matters to consider when arranging an audit, as required under section 59(2) of the AML/CFT Act. The Guideline for audits of risk assessments and AML/CFT programmes, published October 2019, will help reporting entities manage the requirement to audit AML/CFT risk assessment and AML/CFT programmes.
The Designated Business Group - Scope Guideline outlines the obligations that may be shared by members of a designated business group. This December 2017 update replaces the previous version published in 2012.
The Designated Business Group – Formation Guideline highlights the eligibility criteria and election process when forming or joining a designated business group. It also explains the process for notifying an AML/CFT supervisor about the formation of, or change to, a designated business group and provides the form for doing so.
This February 2020 update replaces the previous version published in 2017.
The Beneficial ownership guideline, published December 2012, provides information to assist in the identification and verification of a customer's beneficial owners. The guideline also provides information to help reporting entities understand the distinction between a beneficial owner and a person acting on behalf of a customer.
Fact sheets on beneficial ownership and customer due diligence are available for these customer types:
- Acting on Behalf of a Customer, published August 2013 (PDF 1MB)
- Customer Due Diligence - Trusts, updated July 2019 (PDF 220KB) to be read together with an explanatory note, updated July 2019 (PDF 180KB)
- Customer Due Diligence - Sole traders and partnerships, updated July 2019 (PDF 200KB)
- Customer Due Diligence - Companies, updated July 2019 (PDF 135KB)
- Customer Due Diligence - Co-operatives, updated July 2019 (PDF 196KB)
- Customer Due Diligence - Clubs and societies, updated July 2019 (PDF 64KB)
The Ministry of Justice has published a class exemption for managing intermediaries on its website.
This guideline clarifies the types of transactions that are wire transfers for the purposes of the AML/CFT Act. The Wire transfers guideline, published August 2013, also describes who the parties are in a transaction and what responsibilities they have.
The Police Financial Intelligence Unit has issued a Suspicious Activity Reporting Guideline to help reporting entities comply with suspicious activity reporting obligations from 1 July 2018.
- AML/CFT Update - June 2020 newsletter (PDF 400KB)
- AML/CFT Update - July 2019 newsletter (PDF 352KB)
- AML/CFT Update - December 2018 newsletter (PDF 304KB)
- AML/CFT Update - May 2018 newsletter (PDF 464KB)
- AML/CFT Update - December 2017 newsletter (PDF 822KB)
- AML/CFT Update - August 2017 newsletter (PDF 137KB)
- FIU/ACAMS Conference 2019 Slides (PDF 1.53MB)
- Evolution in Enforcement - 4 & 7 June 2019 (PDF 883KB)
- FIU/ACAMS Conference 2018 Slides (PDF 894KB)
- FIU/ACAMS Conference 2017 Slides (PDF 586KB)
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.
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.
The NZ Police FIU produce guidance material, including typologies of money laundering and financing of terrorism transactions which are published on their website.
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.
Further information on the development and review of the AML/CFT legislation and related regulations can be found on the 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.