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FMA warns on AML, won't name and shame

Twelve reporting entities, including advisers and advice firms, have been handed formal warnings for breaches of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) laws.

Wednesday, February 8th 2017, 11:20AM

by Susan Edmunds

The FMA requested risk assessment and AML audits from 77 reporting entities (REs), just under 10% of the REs that the FMA supervises, by November 25 last year.

Selection of those required to submit information was partly based on factors including the previous late filing of an AML/CFT annual report and those REs who, for the last two years in a row, said they had not carried out an AML/CFT audit report.

Twelve reporting entities were found to be non-compliant with the law. Nine reporting entities failed to provide their audit, two did not respond to the FMA’s request while one did not submit an AML/CFT annual report as legally required.

The Act requires a reporting entity to ensure its risk assessment and AML/CFT programme are audited every two years or at any other time at the request of the relevant AML/CFT supervisor.

Liam Mason, director of regulation at the FMA, said: “The regulatory regime to tackle money laundering and the financing of terrorism has been in place for more than three years. Firms and individuals have now had sufficient time to meet the legal requirements, as we stated in our recent monitoring report. We have taken proportionate action to ensure all reporting entities are clear about their obligations under the law.”

Independent audits are an essential component of complying with the Act and help ensure that reporting entities have robust systems and processes in place to detect and deter money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The names of the twelve companies and individuals have not been published. The FMA said all were either small businesses or individuals and to do so would have a disproportionate effect. 

It said, of the nine entities who failed to provide an audit, all were now taking steps to become compliant.

The FMA will take further steps against the two reporting entities who didn’t respond to its requests and the single reporting entity that failed to provide its annual AML/CFT report.


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