FMA takes CLSAP NZ to court over alleged anti-laundering breaches

by Roxanne Libatique25 Jun 2020

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has filed civil High Court proceedings against CLSA Premium New Zealand Limited (CLSAP NZ) for allegedly breaching the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act.

The FMA claims that the CLSAP NZ failed to conduct sufficient customer and enhanced customer due diligence on multiple occasions. The company also allegedly failed to terminate business relationships, report suspicious transactions, and keep records per the AML/CFT Act.

Under the AML/CFT Act, reporting entities are required to come up with a compliance programme, have a written risk assessment, and designate a compliance officer to administer and maintain the programme. The monetary penalty for the alleged breaches could reach $2 million for a company.

“The anti-money laundering legislation is a cornerstone to protecting the integrity of New Zealand's financial system, and it's imperative that financial services firms ensure they are compliant,” said Nick Kynoch, the general counsel at FMA.

“The regime has been in place since 2013, and CLSAP's alleged breaches are serious, so it is appropriate for the FMA to take a strong regulatory response. CLSAP NZ needs to be held to account and our approach sends an important message of deterrence to the industry.”

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