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Money laundering risk to be assessed

Money laundering risk in the financial adviser industry is to be assessed in a survey by the Securities Commission and this will also help financial advisers to identify suspicious transactions.

Thursday, March 11th 2010, 7:30AM

The Institute of Financial Advisers (IFA) president Lyn McMorran says that advisers need to understand that through the Securities Commission survey they could assist with the process of money laundering unwittingly.

“The better the processes financial advisers have around identifying possible occasions where this is happening, the more likely it is that they will identify money laundering if or when they do see it.

“It's about financial advisers being certain they know their customer and can properly identify them, their Trustees, their company, the beneficiaries of the funds they're handling, that they know what a potentially suspicious transaction might look like and what to do if they see one.”

She also believes completing the survey will assist advisers when they come to prepare for their risk assessment as required under the new financial industry regulations.

The new Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act requires financial advisers to undertake an assessment of the risk of money laundering and the financing of terrorism they may reasonably expect to face in the course of their business.

The Securities Commission is also required to conduct a risk assessment of the entities under its supervision which includes the survey of financial advisers.

McMorran believes the act will not only enhance the government’s ability to investigate organised crime and follow illegal money trails through financial systems, it will also ensure New Zealand’s financial sector continues to be attractive to legitimate international investors, and not seen as a safe haven for organised criminals and tax evaders.

Financial advisers who are not currently members of the IFA are asked to either contact the Securities Commission or visit the Securities Commission’s website.

« ISI looks to continuous disclosure for fundsSovereign takes regulation bull by the horns »

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