Aug 11 - The Reserve Bank of New Zealand issued a formal warning to the local unit of Westpac Banking Corp. for failing to report almost 8,000 transactions as required by anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism laws
The warning comes as RBNZ releases findings from a review of Australia-based banks, undertaken in 2019 after the international financial crime agency accused no. 2 lender Westpac of allowing millions of payments to people exploiting children.
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 security intelligence unit.
Westpac configured its international transaction reporting systems in a way that failed to detect and report all eligible wire transfers, RBNZ said, but found the other procedures and controls at the bank were satisfactory.
This issue arose in an inadvertent error with our reporting system which is now fixed, spokeswoman for Westpac New Zealand in an email.
Upon identifying the issue, we proactively reported it to RBNZ. We continue to work with the RBNZ on strengthening our systems further, the spokesperson said.