Welcome from the chair

New Zealand is distinguished by its position at the top of Transparency International's corruption perceptions league table. Despite these plaudits, New Zealand's reputation was tarnished in 2016 with the release of the Panama Papers. The subsequent Shewan Inquiry left little doubt about the attractiveness of New Zealand's foreign trusts and other structures for hiding assets or laundering illicit funds.

In response to these developments, the New Zealand government has taken decisive action to restore New Zealand's world-class reputation for operating a clean, transparent and corruption-free economy. One of the main pillars of these reforms is the extension of the AML/CFT regime to include lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, conveyancers, certain high-value goods dealers and gambling service providers.

The government has set an extremely ambitious timetable for the introduction of these reforms for so-called "DNFBPs". The challenges for the new reporting entities are significant. Yet the experience in other markets has shown that DNFBPs that embrace these challenges ultimately end up with stronger business models, better customer data, more robust compliance controls and stand a much greater chance of avoiding reputational risks.

AML/CFT is a fascinating area of regulation and it is a topic that can genuinely engage staff and customers if communicated effectively. At the AML Conference, you will learn practical skills to implement an AML/CFT framework, minimise compliance costs and build competitive advantage through your phase 2 compliance strategy.

I look forward to discussing these important topics with you at the Conference, as well as exploring how you can use AML/CFT compliance to improve your business's bottom line.

Nathan Lynch
Regional Bureau Chief
Financial Crime & Risk,
Asia-Pacific Thomson Reuters