24 Aug 2009

Bank warns of increased costs if bill passed

8:39 pm on 24 August 2009

A bank is warning a bill before Parliament will increase costs and this will be passed on to customers.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Bill would require businesses to set up systems to detect or prevent transactions involving crime-related money.

Westpac general manager regulatory affairs Mariette van Ryn says extra costs will arise from asking customers to come into the branch every time a change is made to an account.

Ms van Ryn says that will affect all customers and be particularly difficult for the elderly and people in rural areas.

Westpac estimates the re-identification process would require it to have a new fulltime employee in each of its 197 New Zealand branches.