NEW ZEALAND (AP) A New Zealand bank has been stripped of its status as an approved intermediary by the Reserve Bank of Australia.
The National Australia Bank said on Friday that it will be taken offline, the first time a New Zealand institution has been penalized by the regulator for engaging in money laundering.
It said it was the first major financial institution to be removed from the bank’s approval list, which is used by banks to prevent customers from transferring money overseas.
It’s the latest setback for the bank, which has faced mounting criticism for lax controls and lack of transparency in recent years.
It has faced investigations over alleged money laundering in Australia and elsewhere.
The bank’s former chief executive John Ruhl was charged with tax evasion in the U.S. and convicted in Australia.
Ruhl resigned last year and his wife has since been appointed chief executive.
Rohl is currently on bail while the bank decides its next move.