As from 1 July 2018 lawyers will be asking clients for more personal information to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act ("AML").
The AML requires law firms to conduct client due diligence on all clients who want the firm to carry out some activities on their behalf. The law applies to activities such as conveyancing and forming companies or trusts for clients. When these are requested by the client, the lawyer must carry out client due diligence.
Client due diligence involves collecting your full name, date of birth and address. To confirm these details, documents such as your driver's licence, passport or your birth certificate and documents that show your address, such as a current utilities invoice or bank statement will be required.
Where the client is a company or trust, information about the directors and shareholders or the trustees and beneficiaries will be also required.
We may also request information confirming the source of the funds for a transaction and/or the source of your wealth (e.g: property that you own).
We are required to file reports with the appropriate authorities detailing the transactions we have dealt with and notifying them of any suspicious activity.
Over time the AML will become familiar. However, we believe it is important to explain the reason behind requesting this additional information.
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