BNZ to stop cash and cheque deposits into personal accounts

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
Cash and cheque deposits into personal accounts at the Bank of New Zealand from people who do not own or control the account will no longer be allowed from November 16 in an attempt to prevent money laundering.

For BNZ customers, this will mean they will have to use internet banking or BNZ’s mobile app.

For customers with other companies, it is recommended they talk to their own bank to see how this affects them.

A BNZ spokesman said while the company understood the inconvenience this may cause to some customers, the change was needed to combat “financial crime,” improve payment transparency and protect customers.

Earlier this month, six people across Auckland were arrested and millions of dollars worth of properties and luxury vehicles were seized after a 12-month police investigation into money laundering.

Police seized three Auckland properties in Te Atatū, Half Moon Bay and New Lynn worth at least $3.3 million in value. They also seized seven high-end luxury vehicles including a Lamborghini Huracan worth about $450,000, a boat and a Mercedes-Benz G Wagon.

About $250,000 in cash was also located and retained during the search warrants.

While Age Concern Canterbury chief executive Simon Templeton appreciated the intentions of the shift from BNZ to counter money laundering, he still felt it would have a telling impact on the elderly who rely on making deposits through cheques and cash.

"Whatever systems that are changed or put in place should not be at the disadvantage of others,” he said.

"We are concerned about the whole way the banking industry is going, with no cheques, to closing branches, reducing face-to-face interaction.

"I can use online banking but others can’t and it be a real barrier for some people.”

ANZ will also stop accepting cheques as a method to receive or make payments after May 31, 2021.

The bank chose to do this in response to the usage of cheques reducing significantly over the years.

Westpac will be ending the use of cheques as a payment method after June 25, 2021.

“Most of our customers now prefer the speed, safety and convenience of making and receiving payments digitally, and as a result we have seen a large decline in the use of cheques," Westpac said. 

"That’s why we’ve decided to end the use of cheques as a method of payment."






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