NZ bank payments resume after ANZ glitch as RBNZ watches
NZ bank payments resume after ANZ glitch as RBNZ monitors situation
By Jonathan Underhill
Oct. 30 (BusinessDesk) - Payments between New Zealand banks have been restored after a glitch at ANZ New Zealand led to industry-wide disruptions.
All of the disrupted files had been exchanged by 7am this morning, said Steve Nichols, chief executive of Payments NZ, which is owned by eight banks and manages four clearing systems that handle some $35 billion a day in transactions.
The source of the glitch has yet to be identified, he said. “It started with an ANZ systems issue, they were not able to send/receive files to other banks so by definition it was industry wide.”
Such disruptions are unusual, with the last occurring on Anzac Day in April 2012, he said.
Reserve Bank head of communications Mike Hannah said the bank was “aware of the issues that occurred overnight and we’re monitoring it.”
After last year’s outage, the Reserve Bank said Payments NZ had taken steps to better manage or avoid similar incidents. The central bank was continuing to monitor risks to the retail payments system, it said at the time.
In March of this year, the central bank released a consultation document, Strengthening Statutory Payment Oversight Powers.
Among responses was the suggestion that Payments NZ be formally recognised as a co-regulator for payment systems oversight. The central bank didn’t agree, responding that as the body was owned and advocated for participants in the industry being regulated, it was not appropriate that Payments NZ be positioned as a co-regulator.
The Reserve Bank is currently working on proposals to feed into a Cabinet paper of its preferred policy position on a payment oversight framework, and expects to have a draft ready for consultation in the first half of 2014, it said this month.
Nichols said Payments NZ coordinates an industry group that is called up in the event of outages, such as happened overnight. The Reserve Bank’s proposals to strengthen its oversight “do not in any way diminish the responsibilities we have,” he said.
While there was still debate over the central bank’s plans, the way it had been presented to industry “seems quite reasonable,” he said.