25 September 2001
This step has been taken as a consequence of the terror attacks in the United States.
On 16 March 2001 regulations came into force in regard to Afghanistan, terror suspect Osama bin Laden and the organisation known as al Qaeda, which forbid any financial transactions with them.
Thus today's letter is not taking any additional steps but reminds banks and other financial institutions of what is required of them, given New Zealand's international commitments.
The letter is attached, and the accompanying table is available in pdf (10 KB).
For further information contact
Corporate Affairs Manager
Ph 04 471 3671, 021 497 418, home 04 938 8177, Jackmanp@rbnz.govt.nz
To: All financial institutions operating in New Zealand
UNITED NATIONS SANCTIONS REGULATIONS
1. It is the responsibility of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to administer the financial aspects of the United Nations Sanctions regulations in New Zealand.
2. As you will be aware, the Government has made regulations that prohibit economic contacts with particular states in order to uphold resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. Attached to this letter is an updated table to inform you of the current status of financial aspects of New Zealand's United Nations sanctions regulations. We remind you of the need for vigilance and caution in relation to any transactions that may potentially be subject to the prohibitions in the regulations.
3. In light of recent world events, I draw your attention to the financial regulations involving Afghanistan, which came into force on 16 March 2001. The effect of these regulations is included in the attached table.
4. Moreover, while we do not expect that there will be any known assets of terrorists held within New Zealand financial institutions, please ensure you notify the Reserve Bank if your institution becomes aware of any such assets.
5. Further, your vigilance may trigger you to suspect that a transaction is relevant to the investigation or prosecution of any person for money laundering or to the enforcement of the Proceeds of Crime Act 1991. I remind you that, in those circumstances, you must report your suspicion to the Financial Intelligence Unit within the New Zealand Police. In addition, in case you are not already aware, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has published a list of jurisdictions whose regulatory frameworks have been assessed as potentially facilitating money laundering. The FATF pronouncements on these "Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories" is available at www.oecd.org/fatf. The FATF recommends that financial institutions give special attention to business relations and transactions with persons from the non-cooperative countries and territories it lists, taking into account the particular weaknesses identified in the relevant FATF report. Giving special attention to transactions to or from such jurisdictions may also help your organisation to minimise any risk of it breaching, inadvertently, the United Nations sanctions regulations.
6. We expect to include the updated table on the Reserve Bank website in the near future. If you have any questions regarding the contents of, or your organisation's obligations under, the regulations, please do not hesitate to contact Susan Ivory, Legal Analyst on (04) 471 3713.
Reserve Bank of New Zealand