Where we are
Worldclear is located in Hamilton, New Zealand.
New Zealand is a well-regulated jurisdiction for international financial services, business and wealth management. New Zealand is a member of OECD, FATF, and the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering. New Zealand is recognised as being the fourth least corrupt country in the world in 2015 by Transparency International. New Zealand is ranked the easiest place in the world to do business, after Singapore and Hong Kong, by the World Bank in 2016.
Hamilton is New Zealand's largest inland city, located about 130 Km South of Auckland.
Financial Services Regulation in New Zealand
Financial service providers are regulated by a number of regulators depending on the financial services they provide.
The Registrar of Financial Service Providers is the regulator that registers and deregisters Financial Service Providers (FSPs), and for this purpose assesses the qualifications of applicants and FSPs, including any additional licensing requirements that may apply. The register contents include information about the types of financial service the FSP is registered to provide, which enables the public to confirm which financial services types the FSP is legally registered to provide.
AML/CFT Regulation in New Zealand
New Zealand has a comprehensive and modern system of Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism measures. These measures are principally under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (The AML/CFT Act), and associated regulations, and separate proceeds of crime and terrorism suppression laws.
The Ministry of Justice is responsible for leading the development of New Zealand's anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) policy. The Financial Intelligence Unit of the New Zealand Police collects, analyses and disseminates financial intelligence relating to suspicious transactions, money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The AML/CFT Act was enacted in 2009 to maintain and enhance New Zealand’s international reputation by adopting, where appropriate in the New Zealand context, recommendations issued by the Financial Action Task Force and went into force on 30th June 2013.
In October 2013, the FATF recognised that New Zealand had made significant progress in addressing the gaps identified in the 2009 mutual evaluation report and could be removed from the regular follow-up process.
FSPs are supervised by one of three supervisors under the AML/CFT Act. These supervisors are the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the Financial Markets Authority, and the Department of Internal Affairs. The functions of the supervisors include monitoring compliance, providing guidance, doing investigations and taking enforcement action.
Privacy Regulation in New Zealand
As an English common law jurisdiction, bank secrecy is a strict obligation under common law. This applies regardless of whether the customer or prospective customer is an individual or a business entity, and is backed by serious legal consequences. In addition the New Zealand courts have also recognised that invasion of privacy is an actionable tort in judgements in 2005 onwards, and the Law Commission noted in its 2010 report on the topic, that 'the tort is a demonstration that the law treats the matter seriously'. (Although all English common law jurisdictions recognise bank secrecy obligations, many do not yet recognise privacy torts.)
In addition, the Privacy Act 1993, regulations and codes of practice provide a comprehensive system of personal data protection, overseen by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. On 19 December 2012 the European Commission issued a decision formally declaring that New Zealand law provides a standard of data protection that is adequate for the purposes of EU law. On 28 May 2014, following a Law Commission review of New Zealand privacy law, the Minister of Justice Judith Collins announced that the government would enact significant improvements to New Zealand privacy laws that will deliver even stronger protections for personal information. Ms Collins stated "Our proposals will put strong incentives in place to ensure businesses, government departments and other organisations take privacy seriously."
Tax situation for non-resident customers
Although Worldclear does not provide tax advice, and generally does not know about the tax position of its customers, the following is a general summary of Worldclear’s understanding of the current tax situation in New Zealand as it may affect non-resident customers. Non-residents of New Zealand are subject to the following situation and tax rates on funds in New Zealand bank accounts:
- On the funds deposited: there are no wealth or asset taxes. There are also no gift, estate or inheritance taxes in New Zealand.
- On the receipts credited to the account: there are no taxes applicable to the receipts credited to the account, and where these are of a capital nature or relate to foreign-sourced income no income tax liability arises even when the income is received in or paid into a bank account in New Zealand.
- On the payments going out of the account: there are no taxes, levies or duties on bank account debits or outward payments.
- On bank fees and charges; there are no taxes applied to customers in relation to bank fees and charges. (Financial services are exempt from Goods and Services Tax. Non-financial services received by a non-resident outside New Zealand are zero-rated for Goods and Services Tax.).
- On interest income earned on a bank account or other source in New Zealand: Non-Resident Withholding Tax (NRWT) is levied as a final tax, meaning that no tax return needs to be filed in New Zealand solely because of this form of income. The standard rate is 15%, unless a tax treaty reduces the maximum rate to 10%. However the bank and the non-resident investor can agree that Approved Issuer Levy applies and that the interest is zero-rated for NRWT, and the bank pays a levy of 2% of the interest paid instead. The European Savings Tax Directive does not apply in New Zealand.
Although New Zealand does provide an attractive tax-environment for non-resident investors, taxes may be levied outside New Zealand and New Zealand does cooperate with other countries for tax purposes where the other country is a tax treaty country, or pursuant to the terms of a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) or equivalent.