The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), the central bank of the country, has established a new standalone enforcement department.

The new department will work alongside the central bank’s supervision team to achieve compliance goals.

Both the departments will operate within RBNZ’s Financial Stability Group.

RBNZ deputy governor Geoff Bascand said: “The Enforcement Department will support the Bank’s more intensive supervisory and enforcement approach and help the bank promote a sound and efficient financial system built on integrity, innovation and inclusion.”

Overall, the department will focus on compliance in the banking and insurance sectors. It will also work with the supervision teams managing and anti-money laundering and combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) sectors.

It will develop the bank’s enforcement framework as well as form a committee to supervise actions for regulatory breaches.

Bascand added: “Our objective is to transform into a flexible and proactive regulator, with leading edge tools and technology, and the capability to use these to fully enable our evolving responsibilities, legislative powers, and expectations.”

Recently, RBNZ chided some of the top banks in the country for compliance issues.

Last month, the central bank raised concerns about Westpac New Zealand’s risk governance processes. Subsequently, Westpac initiated a procedure to assess a possible demerger of its business in the country.