6 May 2021
Helen Hardly Email: [FYI request #15068 email]
Thank you for your request of 4 April 2021 to the Financial Markets Authority under the Official
Information Act 1982 (OIA), which was transferred to the Reserve Bank on 7 April 2021. You
requested the following:
(a) “all the documents you have received from Bank of China related to their obligations
under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act
2009…Their written risk assessment, compliance program etc.
(b) I understand you may request the Bank to provide audit report[s], may I ask if you
have asked the Bank of China to provide any report under the Act? Also has the Bank
of China been issued any warnings or directions with regards to their responsibilities
under the Act?
(c) Who is the Bank of China’s compliance officer under the Act and can you share his/her
contact details publicly?”
We have prepared itemised responses to your questions below.
1. All the documents you have received from Bank of China related to their
obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of
Terrorism Act 2009…Their written risk assessment, compliance program etc.
The Reserve Bank is the supervisor of New Zealand registered banks, non-bank deposit takers
and life insurers under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act
2009 (AML/CFT Act). The Reserve Bank supervises these entities to ensure they meet
obligations designed to help deter and detect money laundering and terrorist financing. Our
supervised entities include the two Bank of China entities: Bank of China (New Zealand)
Limited and the Bank of China Limited (Auckland branch).
The AML/CFT Act imposes a number of obligations upon reporting entities. You can find
details on those obligations here: https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/regulation-and-supervision/anti-
Relevant to your request, a reporting
entity is required to submit an annual report on its risk assessment and AML/CFT programme
to its AML/CFT supervisor, under section 60 of the AML/CFT Act. These reports (and
associated documentation) include sensitive commercial information.
We are withholding the compliance documents you have requested, under section 9(ba)(i) of
the OIA. Section 9(ba)(i) protects documents which persons may be compelled to provide
2 The Terrace, PO Box 2498, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
Telephone 64 4 472 2029 Online at www.rbnz.govt.nz
Ref #3299666 v1.1
under authority of an enactment, where the making available of that information would be likely
to prejudice the supply of similar information (or information from the same source), and it is
in the public interest that such information should continue to be supplied.
The Bank of China entities are required to provide us the compliance documents under section
60 of the AML/CFT Act. Release of these documents, which contain sensitive commercial
information, is likely to have a chilling effect on the amount of detail that our supervised entities
include in their annual reports, or affect the level of openness in our conversations with these
entities. It is in the public interest that our supervised entities continue to provide an appropriate
level of information, in order to enable the Reserve Bank to effectively carry out its role as
2. I understand you may request the Bank to provide audit report[s], may I ask if you
have asked the Bank of China to provide any report under the Act? Also has the
Bank of China been issued any warnings or directions with regards to their
responsibilities under the Act?
In response to the first part of this question, all reporting entities supervised by the Reserve
Bank are required to complete an audit of their AML/CFT Programme and Risk Assessment
every two years or at any other time specified by the Reserve Bank. This is required under
section 59 of the AML/CFT Act. As AML/CFT supervisor, the Reserve Bank requests those
audit reports prior conducting an onsite inspection to ensure relevant reporting entity fulfilling
their responsibilities under the AML/CFT Act.
In response to the second part of this question, the Reserve Bank has the power to issue
formal warnings or accept enforceable undertakings under Part 3 of the AML/CFT Act. The
AML/CFT Act does not provide statutory authority for AML/CFT supervisors to issue directions
to their supervised entities. We confirm that we have not issued any formal warnings to, or
obtained any enforceable undertakings from, the Bank of China entities. The Reserve Bank
publishes all formal warnings and enforceable undertakings on our website (https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/regulation-and-supervision/industry-notices)
3. Who is the Bank of China’s compliance officer under the Act and can you share
his/her contact details publicly?
Section 56 of the AML/CFT Act requires that a reporting entity “establish, implement, and
maintain” a compliance programme (an AML/CFT programme) and designate an AML/CFT
compliance officer to administer and maintain its AML/CFT programme.
The AML/CFT compliance officer for the Bank of China entities is Roger Clarke. Roger may
be contacted at [email address].
The Reserve Bank has a statutory duty to make official information available unless there is
good reason for withholding it. The overriding public interest in this case is that the Reserve
Bank be able to carry out its functions as AML/CFT supervisor in an efficient manner. This
requires that regulated entities be confident that the Reserve Bank will not release information
where that information was provided under confidence, as this would be likely to cause those
entities to be reticent about disclosing such information in future, thereby impeding the
Reserve Bank’s ability to effectively act as supervisor.
We do not consider the additional public interest in releasing the withheld information
outweighs the reasons in favour of withholding.
The Official Information Act allows charges to be imposed for the preparation of information in
response to requests. The Reserve Bank is resourced to meet disclosure obligations for a
reasonable level of requests and the cost of providing free responses to Official Information
requests is generally borne by taxpayers. However, the Reserve Bank believes that requesters
should bear some of the costs, where allowable under the OIA, when requests are made for
large amounts of information, where a response is particularly complex, or where individuals
or organisations make frequent requests. In this instance, no charge is allowable under the
OIA as no information is being released.
This response required approximately 5 hours to prepare.
Please note that we intend to publish a copy of this response on the Reserve Bank’s website www.rbnz.govt.nz/research-and-publications/official-information-requests.
requests are published in order to improve public transparency and provide an additional
resource for anyone seeking information.
Head of Supervision
Reserve Bank of New Zealand | Te Pūtea Matua