The Importance of Clean Money
If you’re selling your home (or planning to), you now need to complete a few extra steps, aimed at reducing financial crime in New Zealand.
It’s estimated that more than $1 billion a year comes from drug dealing and fraud in New Zealand, which can then be laundered through Kiwi businesses. From 1 January 2019, property transactions fell under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing Terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation. Aimed at fighting financial crime, it means that real estate salespeople need to verify who you are before they can act for you and put your house on the market.
What is Money Laundering?
Money laundering is a crime. Criminals work to make their money look like it’s come from a legitimate source, to cover their illegal tracks. Buying and selling a property is one way of doing this.
The Government is running a campaign ‘Keep our Money Clean’, aiming at keeping New Zealand corruption free. At the time of launching, Justice Minister Andrew Little said: “we need all Kiwi businesses to be vigilant so criminals with dirty money won’t do us any harm”.
How is Tall Poppy Tackling This?
Before the new law came into practice, we worked with our lawyers to devise our own programme to follow, to ensure we did our bit in reducing financial crime in New Zealand and overseas.
David Graves, Founder and Director of Tall Poppy, says this programme enables 100% compliance with the law.
“It was a significant shift for the industry, but we decided to do everything we could to ensure we met requirements under the new law. It was also a shift for sellers - some were quite surprised about the need for real estate salespeople to verify their identity”.
If you’re selling your home, then be prepared to do:
1. Verify your identity - to act on your behalf real estate salespeople need to be able to verify who you are, and will ask for details like your full name, date of birth, and address.
2. Provide proof - our real estate salespeople may ask to see your passport, driver’s license or a recent power or phone bill.
If you’re buying a property, your lawyer will also need to see proof of identity.
It’s About Keeping You Safe
Tall Poppy takes a very detailed approach to paperwork, which David Graves says benefits everyone.
“We keep our sellers’ information safe and secure. We also have a very sophisticated system of general day-to-day compliance designed to keep our sellers, buyers and salespeople in an exceedingly safe trading environment with minimal chance of subsequent legal action from a transaction gone wrong”.
If you have any questions about our AML programme, please ask your salesperson, or you can email us here: firstname.lastname@example.org