By Frank Lieshout | 5 min read
Once again It’s time to talk about those three (some say ‘dirty’) letters.
A, M, L
That’s right – AML – Anti Money Laundering and the regulations that come with it.
In our original article, we mentioned a number of objections we hear about complying with AML obligations and debunked these as myths.
Just call us the AML Myth Busters! Here is what we have addressed in previous articles:
- ‘There’s no consequence for not doing it, eh?’
- ‘It doesn’t apply to me.’
- ‘It’s just not a priority.’
- ‘It wouldn’t affect any of MY clients’
- ‘I Could Be Doing Anything Else’
In this article we look at the sentiment of ‘Who cares? !!’
New Zealanders are generally a caring bunch.
We care about a number of things:
- Each other
- Staying safe
- The environment
- Good internet and cell phone coverage
- Whether the All Blacks win
- Will there be a season 2 of Squid Game and when will it be released?
Sometimes, caring comes naturally.
For example, take red and green lights.
In your car if you don’t stop at a red traffic light, you will care that you potentially could be hit by another car coming the other way.
Need I remind you of caring about the consequences of you playing ‘Red Light, Green Light’ (especially on Squid Game!)?
On the other hand, sometimes caring doesn’t come naturally.
One of those things is caring about AML and the laws and regulations governing it.
Believe it or not, there are very good reasons you should care about AML:
- Tarnished reputation
- Financial penalties
- Shutting down of your firm
- Peace of Mind
- Good of the community
The big stick is out.
As we have noted in earlier articles, New Zealand firms are being prosecuted for not following the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009.
It is not just the big business, like banks, that have been prosecuted. So, it could happen to you.
Those firms subject to the Act are required to file Suspicious Transduction Reports (STRs) with the NZ Police’s Financial Integrity Unit.
The intent of these STRs is to help catch the crims, but it seems the risk of prosecution is what is driving the filing of them.
It has been said ‘any publicity is good publicity’.
Whoever said that obviously wasn’t thinking about AML.
Your reputation will be tarnished for non-compliance with AML, as you could look like a dodgy business. This could lead to, at a minimum, loss of customers and therefore loss of profits.
Crime doesn’t pay.
Unless you are the Government!
One of the largest financial penalties handed out in New Zealand was a mere $7.5M. A serious hit on any business.
Shutting down of your Firm
Non-compliance can lead to your firm being shut down.
I’ll agree that there is a large amount time that needs to be spent on compliance with the provisions of the Act; however, the last thing you want is your firm to disintegrate.
Peace of Mind
Who doesn’t want to sleep well at night?
With all the above hanging over your head for non-compliance, being compliant will give you peace of mind.
Good of the Community
Finally, you should care about caring for others.
Reducing the risk of money-laundering benefits the community and the country as a whole.
Who doesn’t want to make New Zealand a better place?
So, there are a lot of reasons for you to care about AML – who knew?
Red Light, Green Light – your choice.
If you haven’t already had your AML Audit completed, get in touch with us.