Greens demand Inquiry into National’s foreign exchange blunder

via Stuff

via Stuff

One of New Zealand’s biggest banks has scrambled to assess its security systems after handing out hundreds of dollars in counterfeit money.

An ANZ customer was given bogus Canadian currency by the Remuera branch to take on holiday.

The woman – who asked not to be named – learned she was carrying the illegal notes when a restaurant refused to take one of her $100 bills.

She went to a Canadian bank where the remaining $220 was confiscated for being counterfeit.

“The bank said they had never seen a forgery look so professional,” she said

Co-leader of the Green Party, Russel Norman, has called for an immediate Inquiry into this latest blunder.

“Everyone knows John Key’s background as a foreign exchange trader before he came to Parliament.  This happened on his watch, and he has some explaining to do”, Norman said.

In what appears to be a never ending stream of Government foul-ups where individuals send emails to the wrong people, frequently with information that wasn’t intended for them, or web sites aren’t secured appropriately, it is Government ministers that are clearly not doing their jobs according to Norman.

“In this instance, with fake foreign exchange having not just entered the country, but also having been re-issued and taken back out, shows a clear systemic failure by the National Government.  They continue to let every day Kiwis down on a daily basis”, Norman added.  “The public deserves to know exactly when John Key knew about this issue, and what, if anything, he tried to do to cover it up”.

Banks use high-speed note-processing machines to authenticate bank notes. However, ANZ could not explain how the fakes had slipped through.

An ANZ spokesman said the bank apologised to the customer and refunded her money.

“We have since made additional checks and reviewed processes to minimise the chance of this happening again.

“We cannot give details for security reasons but we have taken measures to minimise the chance of this happening again.”

The spokesman said in-house checks regularly identified fake notes and removed them from circulation.

The Banking Ombudsman’s office, which deals with complaints about banks, was not aware of any cases where bogus foreign currency had been issued by a bank, and a police spokeswoman said there had been no complaints.

The Green Party has sent out numerous requests under the Official Information Act to reveal where National went wrong.

“Once again we find John Key asleep at the wheel”, Norman said.  “If there is one area where I’d expect John Key to shine it is Foreign Exchange, and yet, here we are, with another clear failure by government ministers to ensure the systems below them can run free of errors”.


Source:  NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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