On 20 May, Thomson Reuters reported on the recent FATF evaluation, saying that it has criticised the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) for failing to supervise the banking sector adequately, despite an overwhelmingly positive national review. The latest mutual evaluation report revealed the central bank has just 5 full-time staff dedicated to financial crime compliance supervision, and had failed to take any significant action against any of the country’s largest banks. Despite an overwhelmingly positive report, FATF singled out a number of areas for improvement, saying that New Zealand needed to improve the transparency around the ultimate beneficial owners of companies, such as shell companies and trusts, that are commonly used to launder illicit funds.
INSIGHTS INTO THE 2021 FATF MUTUAL EVALUATION OF NEW ZEALAND
On 20 May, the New Zealand law firm Minter Ellison Rudd Watts published a review of the report including the firms’ views on what will follow the Mutual Evaluation; the key findings of the Mutual Evaluation; and the background and process of the Mutual Evaluation.
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