A Guide to Anti-Money Laundering for Crypto Firms

The Reserve Bank Of New Zealand (RBNZ)

Regulators & Key Institutions Digital Bank Knowledge & Training

What Is The Reserve Bank Of New Zealand (RBNZ)?

Reserve Bank Of New Zealand

The Reserve Bank Of New Zealand (RBNZ) works to maintain the stability of New Zealand’s monetary and financial system and provides regulatory oversight for banks and other financial institutions. The RBNZ is New Zealand’s central bank, and the primary regulator of the country’s financial system and institutions. Established in 1934, the RBNZ’s specific role and function have evolved over the years but its modern powers were set out in the RBNZ Act 1989, which tasked the RBNZ with keeping the financial system stable. Today, that mandate includes the supervision of New Zealand’s banks and financial institutions, as well as a leading role in preventing money laundering and financing of terrorism

The RBNZ is wholly owned by the government of New Zealand. As an independent governmental body, it answers directly to New Zealand’s parliament. The bank is currently led by Governor Adrian Orr and is headquartered in the capital city of Wellington.

What Does The Reserve Bank Of New Zealand (RBNZ) Do?

The RBNZ performs a similar role to other central banks around the world in that it works to maintain the New Zealand financial system and protect its participants and the public from criminal activities. To this end, the The Reserve Bank Of New Zealand general role and responsibilities include:

  • Operating monetary policy
  • Managing foreign reserves
  • Issuing currency
  • Operating in financial markets

Monitoring and supervising banks and financial institutions

As part of its supervisory role, the RBNZ is responsible for registering and licensing banks and financial institutions within New Zealand in order to verify that they meet regulatory standards and can operate in a prudent manner.

RBNZ AML/CFT Responsibilities

The RBNZ has oversight on banks, insurers and credit unions. The bank plays a significant part in the development of New Zealand AML regulations. Operating under the authority of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (along with the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and the Departmet of Internal Affairs) The Reserve Bank Of New Zealand’s AML/CFT powers and responsibilities include:

Policy-making: The RBNZ helps to develop the New Zealand AML/CFT regulatory policy in line with legislation introduced by the government and with its mandate to ensure the stability of the financial system. The RBNZ’s approach to policy-making includes:

  • Consultation with banks and financial institutions
  • Analysis of the impact of regulation on financial markets
  • Delivery of implementation timelines
  • Consideration of RBNZ principles and philosophy

Supervision: The Reserve Bank Of New Zealand monitors financial institutions to ensure they are satisfying their  AML/CFT obligations and reporting requirements. In order to comply with RBNZ requirements, financial institutions in New Zealand must:

  • Take a risk-based approach to the money laundering and terrorism financing threats they face.
  • Implement an AML/CFT program that reflects their risk profile and includes appropriate due diligence measures, account monitoring, and suspicious transaction reporting mechanisms.
  • Appoint an AML/CFT compliance officer to oversee their internal AML/CFT program.
  • Conduct internal AML/CFT audits and reviews to ensure updated compliance.

Enforcement: In order to address those who do not comply with RBNZ requirements relating to AML/CFT, the RBNZ has the power to carry out enforcement actions, potentially in collaboration with New Zealand authorities. The RBNZ will seek to impose appropriate sanctions on institutions, which can include the revocation of operating licenses or financial penalties.     

Relationship Management: The Reserve Bank Of New Zealand has the mandate to create better “regulator/regulated” relationships in order to promote the mutual fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. It focuses its relationship management efforts on its behavior towards financial institutions and the way it communicates with them.

Comply With RBNZ Requirements

Get help meeting and exceeding the expectations of Global regulators, including The Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Get Started

Originally published July 15, 2019, updated August 18, 2022

Disclaimer: This is for general information only. The information presented does not constitute legal advice. ComplyAdvantage accepts no responsibility for any information contained herein and disclaims and excludes any liability in respect of the contents or for action taken based on this information.

Copyright © 2022 IVXS UK Limited (trading as ComplyAdvantage).