Westpac (ASX:WBC) share price lags the big banks’ after NZ ‘formal warning’

Westpac is yet again facing accusations of breaching counter terrorism and anti-money laundering law.
The post Westpac (ASX:WBC) share price lags the big banks’ after NZ ‘formal warning’ appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price is bringing up the rear of the big banks today after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) issued a formal warning to Westpac.

According to the RBNZ, Westpac failed to disclosure more than 8,000 corporate transactions to overseas residents. The transactions allegedly occurred between July 2018 and February 2019.

Under New Zealand law, international wire transfers of NZ$1,000 or more must be reported to the New Zealand Police’s Financial Intelligence Unit.

The Westpac share price is currently $25.87, 1.15% higher than its previous close. While that’s a good day’s performance, it’s behind that of the other big banks.

Right now, both the ANZ and NAB share prices are currently up 1.42% and 1.3% respectively. Meanwhile, shares in Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) have gained 1.29%.

Let’s take a closer look at the RBNZ’s warning to Westpac.

Westpac issued a warning

The Westpac share price is lagging following a warning from the RBNZ.

The RBNZ’s warning is the result of a survey conducted in the wake of AUSTRAC’s money laundering accusations posed to the bank in 2019.

Following the accusations from the Australian watchdog, the RBNZ conducted a survey into all New Zealand-registered banks with a particular focus on Westpac.

RBNZ states it found the failings during an on-site inspection. Specifically, it found Westpac failed to report transactions as required by New Zealand’s Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act.

AUSTRAC levelled similar accusations at Westpac almost 2 years ago. Last year, Westpac settled the civil case brought by AUSTRAC for $1.3 billion.

The Westpac share price only slipped 0.1% on the back of the settlement.

The RBNZ’s deputy governor and general manager of financial stability, Geoff Bascand, commented on Westpac’s alleged failures to report, saying:

This formal warning reflects the importance of the prescribed transaction reporting regime in building an intelligence picture across New Zealand’s financial system, and reiterates the seriousness with which we view non-compliance with the [Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism] Act.

Westpac share price snapshot

The Westpac share price is having a good run lately.

It has gained 33% year to date. It is also 45% higher than it was this time last year.

The post Westpac (ASX:WBC) share price lags the big banks’ after NZ ‘formal warning’ appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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More reading

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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 

The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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