Whistleblowing

If you are employed (currently or formerly) by an insurer, bank or non-bank deposit taker and believe there has been misconduct within your organisation then you can report that misconduct to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Reserve Bank).

Such misconduct may include:

  • a criminal offence
  • breach of a legal obligation
  • a miscarriage of justice
  • deliberate covering up of any wrongdoing
  • dishonest or unethical behaviour by an individual
  • concerns that pose a danger to the public or financial system

The Reserve Bank cannot assist with customer related complaints.

Before making a report

Before making a report you need to reasonably believe that the Reserve Bank is the appropriate organisation to disclose your concerns to e.g. we cannot assist you with any personal work-related grievances (e.g. bullying, harassment, discrimination). For personal work related grievances, we encourage you to contact your Human Resources department or Employment New Zealand for further guidance on what you can do.

We encourage you to refer to your organisations internal whistleblowing policy before making a report to the Reserve Bank. If this option is not available, or if you do not feel it its appropriate (e.g. if you think your employer will cover up or has not resolved the matter despite your disclosure), or you are unsure if your concerns are relevant to the Reserve Bank, then please contact us.

Confidentiality

We will take all possible steps to protect the identity of anyone who gives us information in good faith.

The Reserve Bank treats the information you give us in confidence and this information can be protected by the following legislation:

  • Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989
  • Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010
  • Non-bank Deposit Takers Act 2013
  • Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009
  • Privacy Act 1993

We will not inform anyone outside the Reserve Bank about your identity, except when:

  • you authorise us to do so;
  • we are required to by law;
  • information you disclose is passed on to another authority (e.g. NZ Police, Serious Fraud Office, Commerce Commission, the Financial Markets Authority, and the Office of the Ombudsman);
  • or your information is used as evidence in a prosecution or other court-based application and is required to be disclosed to the other party.

In any situation where the Reserve Bank might have to disclose your identity you will be informed first, with the reasons and purposes for the disclosure. If you have concerns that the Reserve Bank has disclosed or misused your personal information inappropriately, please raise your concerns with us first. If you feel that we have not addressed your concerns adequately, you have a right to complain to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

You can make a complaint on the Making a complaint page on the Privacy Commissioners website.

Our expectations of whistleblowers

You should provide a disclosure which makes clear the nature of wrongdoing concerns, the identity of those involved and the public interest factor. It is important to be as specific and detailed as possible, particularly if you are providing information anonymously. The Reserve Bank will not be able to follow-up on broad or ill-defined allegations.

If you provide information anonymously this may limit our ability to investigate the matter further.

It is helpful if you provide information in writing, even if initial contact is made by telephone.

What happens next?

We will:

  • look at the information and any other supporting information;
  • contact you if we need more information; and
  • decide if we will take any further action.

The Reserve Bank will send a letter acknowledging receipt of your disclosure as soon as practicable.

The Reserve Bank will make its own decision on how to follow-up on the information supplied to us. We are unlikely to inform you of what action is taken or process followed, but will let you know if we may wish to disclose your identity and may contact you for clarification or further detail of the information you proivde.

Ways to report misconduct concerns to the Reserve Bank

The preferred ways you can provide report your concerns about misconduct for an insurer, bank or non-bank deposit taker are:

  1. send an email to whistleblowing@rbnz.govt.nz setting out the information you wish to refer to the Reserve Bank; or
  2. call to discuss the matter.

Legal advice for whistleblowers

We cannot give legal advice to a whistleblower. Whistleblowers may wish to take legal advice from a lawyer at their own expense. You can refer to the New Zealand Law Society’s directory of lawyers and organisations to find a lawyer if necessary.

You could also contact your local Community Law Centre or Citizens’ Advice Bureau for free legal advice or for a referral to a lawyer.