BNZ breached its own policy; Made payment for oil from Iran
BNZ Portabank
Image source – Addis Containers

The Bank of New Zealand is once again in the news because it breached its own trade and sanction policy. As per the reports, BNZ processed a payment identified to be for oil originating from Iran, which once used to be New Zealand’s fifth-largest trading partner.

In Feb 2016, country had lifted the ban against Iran, after the UN Security Council lifted international sanctions against Iran. However, BNZ did not amend its own Economic and Trade Sanctions policy, which stated not to facilitate payments for Iranian oil.

The details were revealed in NAB/BNZ files leaked by a whistleblower. The file specifies the details of the payment made to Iran, which a top BNZ executive marked as a huge operational risk.

A spokesperson from BNZ, Michael Burgess stated that BNZ hasn’t breached any sanctions because no payment for Iranian oil has ever been made. He mentioned, the flagged payment was less than $US5000 and for industrial lubricant and stopped before it reached its intended destination.

While questioning about an operational risk event which took place in June 2018, Michael Burgess said, the attempted payment was related to a New Zealander trying to purchase a holiday to Iran via a UK travel company, later BNZ requested the beneficiary bank cancel the payment and return the funds.

Earlier in April this year, Standard Chartered had to pay fines of US$ 1.1 billion to US and UK regulators for sanction breaches including Iran, and for its AML practice.

Source – stuff