Banks want more ID to fight crime

By Amelia Wade

Customers urged to cope with frustrations of extra checks in interests of safety.

Photo / APN
Photo / APN

Bank customers are being asked for more forms of identification as part of a global crackdown on money laundering and terrorism.

The Bankers Association said customers will find the new checks frustrating and is urging them to remember why they're in place.

From the end of next month, the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 is implemented and all banks will be obliged to check customers' identity and in some cases their account activity. Some banks have been implementing the changes early.

The enhanced regime applies to all banks, and other financial institutions, and builds on existing customer identification processes.

ANZ customer Shani Gounder, 25, said the increased checks and requirements for more forms of identification would probably be frustrating.

The university student has three bank accounts but has not yet had a phone call asking for proof of identity.

Ms Gounder said as long as the bank explained why they were calling and that it was to do with the new law, she would understand.

"As long it's once a month or so, that would be fine. But if it's once a week, that would get very annoying."

The Bankers Association said the new law would help raise public confidence in the financial system and line it up with best practice.

"A number of serious crimes drive money laundering globally. These include drug trafficking, fraud, robbery, illegal prostitution and gambling, arms trafficking, bribery and corruption."

Chief executive Kirk Hope said, "We all have a role to play in the new anti-money laundering regime ... This is about New Zealand's international reputation and fighting crime."

Requests for ID

* People wanting to open a new account will need to have one of three options of identification.

* When making deposits of $10,000 or more, customers will need to produce ID.

* If a non-bank customer is making a deposit on behalf of someone else, they'll need to provide ID.

- NZ Herald

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