DIA welcomes improved AML compliance from Property Brokers

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3 November 2021

The hard work of Property Brokers Limited to meet its anti-money laundering obligations has been recognised by Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs.

This follows a formal warning in March 2021 under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009.

Paul Graham, Acting Director of the Department’s anti-money laundering team, says that real estate is an asset of choice for criminals to launder money. Over $1 billion is laundered in New Zealand each year.

“It’s important that all real estate agents have robust processes in place to detect and deter money laundering. The commitment shown by Property Brokers to remedy its compliance programme is encouraging and contributes to public confidence in New Zealand’s financial system,” says Paul.

No actual money laundering was alleged. The formal warning was for failing to establish, implement and maintain adequate policies, procedures and controls to detect money laundering.

Following the warning, Property Brokers focused on addressing the issues identified by the Department. This included extensive in-house training, assisted by external consultants as well as guidance provided by the Department.

The result has ensured that Property Brokers’ compliance programme and risk assessment currently meets the minimum requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009. 

“We would like to acknowledge the hard work and commitment that the team at Property Brokers have shown in lifting their compliance. This was evident during their most recent onsite inspections.” says Paul.

The Act requires businesses to take appropriate measures to guard against money laundering. The Department regulates various business sectors, including real estate agents, lawyers, accountants and dealers of high value goods, among others. It’s one of the ways we ensure that New Zealand’s communities are safe and resilient.