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Source: Massey University

Companies in New Zealand are losing money through lack of understanding about how to comply with anti-money laundering laws (photo:Mufid Majnun/Unsplash)

Massey’s Fin-Ed Centre, in the Massey Business School and financial consultants Maxima are collaborating on a new micro-credential. The first of its kind, the micro-credential – titled NZ Anti Money Laundering Compliance Officer (NZAMLCO) – has been developed by New Zealand experts to cater to the New Zealand market. 

It aims to ensure managers, compliance officers and other relevant staff of businesses covered under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 Act (AML/CFT Act) are properly equipped to support their business and effectively and efficiently manage their compliance obligations under this Act.   

Fin-Ed Centre director Dr Pushpa Wood says the course offers 50 hours of structured, self-paced learning that will give participants a good understanding of New Zealand’s AML/CFT regime as well as global money laundering and terrorism financing issues. Course participants will become familiar with businesses’ minimum requirements and obligations under the AML/CFT Act 2009.

“Our aim through this course is to take away the mystery and the ‘too difficult to implement’ approach that people have developed over the years towards anti-money laundering compliance requirements.”

Course participants – expected to be lawyers, money remitters, accountants, financial advisors, real estate agents and a range of other businesses – will be able to apply the learning to implement the relevant AML/CFT systems in their organisations, Dr Wood says.

Maxima director Guy Dobson says that to date, most training in this area (including that undertaken by supervisors) is supplied by internationally-based groups. “Our understanding is that these courses focus mainly on overseas legislation.”

“New Zealand businesses must adhere to New Zealand legislation – however, we have found that in the past seven years of consulting, businesses still struggle to understand how to prepare their AML/CFT risk assessments and programmes in accordance with the mandatory requirements of the AML/CFT Act.”

As a result, he says many businesses are, “haemorrhaging money because they don’t understand the fundamental requirements of the Act and how simple they actually are to implement. While some seek to exploit this knowledge gap and overcharge their services, this micro-credential course will provide businesses the tools and understanding to effectively manage their own AML/CFT compliance.”

The course will also provide micro credits to those who wish to pursue a career in compliance with the AML/CFT Act.

Local application of a global rules

New Zealand, along with more than 200 other countries, has signed up to the rules of the Financial Action Task Force, more commonly known by its acronym (FATF). As a policy-making body, FATF works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas, says Mr Dobson.

FATF has developed 40 recommendations to ensure that countries take effective measures to deter and detect attempts by criminals and terrorist financiers to use countries’ financial systems to benefit from their criminal activity or to finance terrorism, he says. “FATF monitors countries to ensure they implement the forty recommendations fully and effectively and holds countries to account that do not comply. Countries who do not effectively implement FATF’s recommendations are put on their grey or black lists. A country on either of these lists will find it difficult to participate in the global economy.”

The Massey Fin-Ed Centre was established in 2011 and works to help New Zealanders become more financially savvy by improving their knowledge, attitudes and behaviour towards money. It is globally unique for the breadth of its work around financial capability, covering education, research and consultancy. It also runs courses and professional development programmes for both groups and individuals in personal financial management.

Maxima is a joint venture between Compliance Plus and Dynamique. Compliance Plus is a leading provider of advice, compliance testing, risk assessment and enterprise evaluation for all companies in New Zealand impacted by the AML/CFT Act and Regulations. Dynamique is a wholesale/institutional capital markets, risk, and business performance education firm. Originally set up in the UK, it was a leader in providing workshops and e-learning content to financial firms on topics as global custody, derivatives, trading and best execution, and client relationship management. 

Enrolment opens on 1 April 2021, with the course going live on 1 May, 2021. 

To register interest, interested individuals and/or organisations can email Fin-Ed@massey.ac.nz .

Course content is delivered via Massey’s extramural learning platform.

MIL OSI