Co-working office space company Regus Management has been warned for not complying with anti-money laundering laws.

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) issued a formal warning to the company last month for not checking on the background of people using its physical and virtual offices, nor did it keep records about them.

DIA director of anti-money laundering Mike Stone said Regus fell short on the record-keeping expected and required.

“Virtual office space providers that have overseas customers need to hold detailed records on their customers and keep those records up to date,” he said.

“Criminals may choose to use virtual offices based in New Zealand to trade on our clean reputation no matter where they are in the world.”

Regus was the first non-financial sector company to be acted against for breaches of money laundering and counter terrorism finance rules.

The company said it was working with the department to make sure it complied with the law, and expected that to be achieved soon.

The law has been progressively rolled out over the past couple of years to include not just mainstream banks and finance companies, but also real estate agents, lawyers, and accountants.

The DIA has issued 30 formal warnings to individuals and companies for non-compliance. Two money remitters have been prosecuted for breaches, resulting in total penalties of $5.6 million.

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