New Zealand central bank warns NAB unit about money laundering | Economy

Reserve Bank of New Zealand says the bank has not reported accurate locations for 50,000 transactions between 2018 and 2020.

New Zealand’s central bank issued a formal warning Friday to the local unit of National Australia Bank Ltd for failing to report about 50,000 transactions as required by anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism laws.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand said NAB’s Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) failed to report accurate locations for about 50,000 local and physical cash transactions between November 2018 and April 2020.

However, BNZ immediately resolved the issue, identifying the issue as a “technical coding error,” it added.

Under New Zealand’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism laws, companies are required to report transactions such as international wire transfers to the police’s financial intelligence unit.

BNZ said in a statement that it reported the error to the Reserve Bank after becoming aware of the issue in August 2020 and promptly resolved it.

“BNZ takes its focus on anti-money laundering compliance and countering terrorist financing very seriously. We are constantly reviewing our processes and procedures, working with regulators and other authorities and investing heavily in this area,” it added.

Last year, the local unit of Westpac Banking Corp also received a formal warning for failing to report about 8,000 transactions. New Zealand’s TSB Bank was fined $3.5 million New Zealand dollars ($2.16 million) after the bank admitted it had failed to comply with the law’s requirements.

Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia have both faced hefty fines in Australia in recent years after admitting to breaches of the regulatory framework put in place following revelations of widespread misconduct.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand highlighted its formal warning to BNZ as an example to other organizations of their obligation to comply with anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regulations.

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