Media Release

February 12, 2018

Roadshow delivers message to dealers: “Get ready for AML”

Car dealerships up and down the country are being reminded this month to start preparing for new anti-money-laundering obligations just around the corner.

The Financial Services Federation (FSF) has teamed up with Protecta Insurance to take part in a series of roadshows helping their dealer clients understand how pending changes to legislation will affect their business.

The roadshows kicked-off in Wellington on Friday (February 9), where FSF’s Executive Director Lyn McMorran spoke about new obligations customer-facing staff will have as a result of Phase 2 of new Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism legislation.

The new legislation is part of the fight to mitigate crime associated with money laundering, including drug trafficking, financing terrorist organisations, online child exploitation, fraud, theft, and tax evasion.

Phase 2 will mean for the first time that lawyers, accountants, real estate agents and dealers in high value goods – such as vehicles – will be captured under the legislation.

The biggest changes for motor vehicle dealers will concern dealerships’ policies surrounding accepting and handling of cash. If a customer brings in a cash deposit which is over a certain threshold, the dealer will need to report this to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). They will also be encouraged to report any activity which seems suspicious even if it is below the required threshold (which will be determined by regulation).

McMorran, whose organisation promotes responsible lending, says that while dealers will be captured from July 1, 2019, they need to start preparing for the changes now.

“Companies will need to make considered changes to their cash handling policies and processes to ensure they comply, and such system changes always take longer than expected,” McMorran says.

“There will also need to be a change in mindset where people really start thinking “where has this money come from?”, which will be easier for some dealers than others.”

From July 1, 2019, dealerships will be required to join GoAML, the Financial Intelligence Unit’s online reporting portal. Those that wish to start reporting earlier can join GoAML from July 1, 2018.

Protecta will be bringing the roadshow to Christchurch on Tuesday, February 13, before finishing up in Auckland on February 22.

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