The Department of Internal Affairs says it has issued a formal warning under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 to Customhouse Safe Deposits Ltd.
It says the company trades as Commonwealth Vault, is the largest safe deposit provider in New Zealand and trades in gold and silver bullion.
The department says it is not alleged that CSDL was involved in money laundering or the financing of terrorism.
The formal warning was issued on 24 June 2019 for failing to meet AML/CFT Act requirements including failing to conduct customer due diligence and failing to adequately monitor accounts and transactions, failing to keep records, and failing to establish, implement or maintain an AML/CFT programme.
“This is a case of repeated non-compliance, with little regard for money laundering risks,” says Mike Stone, Director of the department’s AML Group.
“In 2014, following a desk-based review, we found CSDL was non-compliant with its AML/CFT requirements. We worked with them to achieve an acceptable standard of compliance and they agreed that they would maintain it. Since then, CSDL has not only failed to maintain an on-going level of compliance but also allowed it to deteriorate, which is unacceptable."
Mr Stone says the department required CSDL to take immediate action to rectify all areas where it was non-compliant with its AML/CFT obligations. It will continue to monitor CSDL and consider further enforcement action if it engages in conduct that does not comply with the AML/CFT Act.
Since the Act came into force on 30 June 2013, the department has issued 30 formal warnings.