This month the NZ Financial Markets Authority, one of our three tiered AML-CFT regulators, put out its Monitoring Report covering the period to 30 June 2018. This semi-regular publication describes the FMA’s enforcement actions and current priorities in the anti-money laundering space. Note that it was drafted prior to the Christchurch shooting attack, and we can expect a much greater emphasis on counter-terrorism financing from all regulators in the period ahead.
The report attracted attention across New Zealand and Australia, and Gary was interviewed by Thomson Reuters for its Regulatory Intelligence publication. The main focus was upon the FMA’s clear warning signal to the market and to its 800 reporting entities that it will ramp up enforcement efforts. Gary explained that excuses such as the regime being too complicated, or that firms’ lack of familiarity with AML nuances are behind poor compliance are going to be increasingly rejected – appropriately so, given the AML regime has been in force since mid–2013.
In Gary’s view, this report charts a clear trend of the FMA increasing its enforcement, starting from its revised Sector Risk Assessment of mid-2017. That Assessment, amongst other things, raised the FMA’s perceived risk ratings for Derivatives Issuers (I.e. Futures & options dealers) to high risk, and for Brokers & custodians holding client funds, to medium-high risk.
The full article by Nathan Lynch can be read here.